As The Guardian reported: “A district judge in the state of Yucatán last month overturned a permit issued to Monsanto by Mexico’s agriculture ministry, Sagarpa, and environmental protection agency, Semarnat, in June 2012 that allowed commercial planting of Round-up ready Soybeans. In withdrawing the permit, the judge was convinced by the scientific evidence presented about the threats posed by GM soy crops to honey production in the Yucatán peninsula, which includes Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatán states. Co-existence between honey production and GM soybeans is not possible, the judge ruled.”
The permit that Monsanto lost was for roughly 620,000 acres of land, so this is no small victory. What’s even more amazing is that they got the permit in the first place. Thousands of citizens, beekeepers, Greenpeace, Mayan farmers, The National Institute of Ecology and other major environmental groups were against Monsanto crops from the beginning.
The biggest winner in this loss for Monsanto was the bees. Bee populations all over the world are in steep decline, not just in Mexico. According to Nina Lakhani, “GM crops could devastate the important European export market for Mexican beekeepers, where the sale of honey containing pollen derived from GM crops has been restricted since a landmark decision in 2001 by the European Court of Justice.”
A study done concerning GM pollen destined for Europe summarized the problem: ““David Roubik, senior staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and his colleagues developed the ability to identify pollen grains in honey in Panama and in Mexico during the 1980s and 1990s when they studied the effects of the arrival of Africanized bees on native bees. “Nobody else can do this kind of work in the ‘big field’ environment and be confident that what they are seeing are soybean pollen grains,” said Roubik. They found that six honey samples from nine hives in the Campeche region contained soy pollen in addition to pollen from many wild plant species. The pollen came from crops near the bee colonies in several small apiaries. Due to strict European regulations, rural farmers in the Mexican Yucatan face significant price cuts or outright rejection of their honey when their product contains pollen from GMO crops that are not for human consumption. The regional agricultural authorities, furthermore, seemed unaware that bees visited flowering soybeans to collect nectar and pollen.”
The bigger picture here is still that GMO crops are still harmful to people and animals alike. Studies across the world show that, and are becoming more and more prevalent every day.
If you still think that eating an organic diet doesn’t have an impact on your health, check out this study published in the journal Environmental Research that was conducted by RMIT university scientists. Thirteen test subjects were fed a diet of strictly organic foods for a week, and urine analysis showed that the pesticide levels in their bodies dropped 89%. In one week. Dr. Liza Oates, one of the researchers on the projects points out the dangers of these pesticides commonly found in our foods: “A lot of these agents were initially developed as nerve gases for chemical warfare, so we do know that they have toxic effects on the nervous system at high doses. Conventional food production commonly uses organophosphate pesticides, which are neurotoxins that act on the nervous system of humans by blocking an important enzyme. Recent studies have raised concerns for health effects of these chemicals even at relatively low levels. This study is an important first step in expanding our understanding about the impact of an organic diet”
Victories like the one in Mexico don’t just benefit mother nature and the ever-decreasing bee populations, they benefit us all by removing GMO produce all together.
Earth We are One