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Two peasant organizations in the province of Los Ríos, sponsored by the Ombudsman's Office, filed a lawsuit to protect peasants from transgenics. The Constitutional Civil Judge ruled in his favor.
Ecuador is Constitutionally a country Free of Transgenic Seeds and Crops, despite this, after a monitoring carried out by
Acción Ecológica and the Ombudsman's Office, glyphosate-resistant transgenic soy was found in the fields of Quevedo.
In a first hearing, the judge ordered a new monitoring, with the participation of the plaintiffs together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrocality, confirming that transgenic soy is being planted illegally in the area.
Given the evidence, the judge granted the protection action, and pointed out that transgenic crops violate the rights to life, health, work, a healthy environment and the rights of nature.
In his sentence the judge ordered
To the Ministry of Agriculture:
-seize, eliminate and burn all transgenic crops found in the monitoring
-subject to the sowing period, seize, eliminate and burn all transgenic seed lots to avoid new plantings
-establish a permanent surveillance program to prevent transgenic crops from being planted in Ecuador (except for experimental purposes)
-train their officials and farmers in the region about the danger of transgenics
-that as a measure of reparation, include the inscription "Ecuador Free of Transgenics" on its website.
Refer the ruling to the Prosecutor's Office of all the cantons of the province of Los Ríos where transgenic crops were found, so that they can identify those responsible, by action or omission, of the entry of transgenic soybeans.
"This is a historic ruling, because since Ecuador declared itself free of GMOs, every effort has been made to violate the Constitution, and the judge's decision strengthens our struggle," said Richard Intriago of FECAOL.
"This is just the beginning of everything, because now we have to ensure that the judge's decision is carried out," remarked the president of the Federation of the Quevedo Agricultural Center, one of the plaintiffs' organizations.
The representatives of Acción Ecológica, an organization that has constantly monitored the presence of transgenic crops in the country, received the judge's decision with great joy, as it represents a great advance in the recognition of rights and they promised to maintain vigilance so that Ecuadorian agriculture is GMO Free.
One of the participants in the Public Hearing stated that it is time for the Ministry of Agriculture to fulfill its obligation to prevent the planting of transgenics in our province.
Source: Network for a GMO-Free Latin America (RALLT)