The Government will investigate the storage of transgenic corn in Emapa silos

The Government will investigate the storage of transgenic corn in Emapa silos

July 15, 2022, 7:38 AM

July 15, 2022, 7:38 AM

After the producers of the Integrated North denounced that the Food Production Support Company (Emapa) collects transgenic corn, the Vice Ministry of Defense of User and Consumer Rights reported that it will carry out an investigation on the subject. That state portfolio said that this type of grain is prohibited in the country.

Yesterday, Thursday, the farmers of that region blocked the highway that connects Montero with the municipality of San Pedro, at the height of the silos of Emapa, located in that locality. The measure was taken after analyzing the corn that arrived at the state company’s facilities and verifying, through a test, that it is a genetically modified product.

The producers were upset because for years they have been asking the Government to authorize the use of biotechnology to increase their yield and deal with pests that reduce grain production, but from the central level they always refused to authorize this type of tool considering that they are not suitable for human consumption and threaten the ecosystem.

The grain was brought from the town of Yacuiba, according to the testimony of the drivers who transported the product to Radio Audio Bosco in San Pedro. According to the carriers’ account, the corn was collected from the properties of a family with the surname Rodríguez and a Mennonite colony.

Yacuiba is a border area with the Republic of Argentina, a country where genetically modified seeds can be used.

Eliazer Arellano, president of the Grupo Norte Producers Association, questioned whether the government does not measure everyone by the same yardstick by not controlling production in Yacuiba. He even said that Santa Cruz farmers are threatened with lawsuits and reversion of their lands if they use these seeds.

Producing a hectare (ha) of corn with hybrid material costs the producer US$122 per hectare, but if transgenic is used, costs drop to US$40 or 50 per ha with a production of 6 tons.

The Vice Minister of Consumer Protection, Jorge Silva, reported that an investigation will be carried out to determine if the complaint made is real or not.
Moreover, he recalled that according to the Political Constitution of the State, the importation and production of grains with genetically modified material is prohibited.

He warned that if any Emapa official gave free rein to receive this product in the silos of the state company, he will be prosecuted for breach of duties and resolutions contrary to the Constitution and the laws.

The parliamentarian and producer, Deisy Choque, who tried to mediate in the conflict so that the farmers lift the blockade on this road.
She regretted the pressure measure, but said she understands the sector that for years has been asking for the use of these technological tools. She argued that there are regulations in the country that curb its use and that the Constitution itself establishes the formation of a biosafety committee to analyze this issue, which, according to the parliamentarian, must be installed urgently.

As a national deputy, she said that she will request a report from the national director of EMAPA on the farmers’ complaint and argued that it is necessary to verify technically whether the grain collected is transgenic.

“My whole family is a producer, me too. Unfortunately there are regulations, but what they cannot do is prohibit us from transgenics and receive transgenics. It cannot be that our producers are prohibited and the opposite is done,” said Choque.

Until last night the blockade continued at the entrance and exit of Emapa. In addition, several sectors joined, which through a decisive vote requested the presence of the national director of EMAPA and the Minister of Rural Development and Lands. They assured that the blockade will continue.

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