The citizens’ campaign #PanSinVeneno, which refuses to approve the HB4 transgenic wheat without consultation, had a meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock on Monday. During the meeting, they presented arguments and scientific studies to support their claim to repeal MAG Decision No. 556/2023 authorizing the commercial release of the above transgene.
Lis García, Bernarda Pesoa and Alejandro Servián were the key figures in the campaign, which led to a meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) chaired by Deputy Minister of Agriculture Victor Coronel. During the hearing, officials expressed their commitment to scrutinizing the #PanSinVeneno campaign’s arguments and scientific studies. They also mentioned the possibility of setting up a working group to deal with this specific problem.
“The deputy minister pointed out that he would revoke the decision if there was even a possibility that the transgenic HB4 wheat would harm the population. Well, we present 76 scientific studies demonstrating the harm caused by this transgenic wheat and the use of the agrotoxic glufosinate ammonium. For this reason, we believe that the release of transgenic wheat should be reversed immediately.‘ explained Alejandro Servían, chef and owner of a restaurant business, who acted as spokesman for the campaign.
The #PanSinVeneno campaign is supported by around 40 catering establishments as well as farmers’ and citizens’ organizations. These organizations complain that the release of the transgenic HB4 wheat was approved without any public debate and independent scientific studies that allow certainty about the safety of the genetically modified organism. The release of this genetically modified organism has caused controversy due to its secrecy and lack of scientific information. Many critics consider this approach to be undemocratic and endanger biosecurity.
Campaign officials report that they have received more than 6,000 signatures of support from people opposing the approval of wheat HB4 without prior consultation. They also invited all citizens to find out more about the @pansinveneno campaign on social media and to sign at one of the collection points.
“The broad citizen mobilization of this campaign is based on the fact that wheat is one of the basic foodstuffs on Paraguayan territory. Therefore, the entire population could be affected by the direct consumption of food made with this GMO.” indicate the referents of the articulation. They also add that the “The concern is related to one of the characteristics of this genetically modified organism: tolerance to the herbicide glufosinate ammonium. This would mean an increase in the use of this highly dangerous pesticide.”
After the hearing and press conference, citizens handed out bread baked by bakers to both ministry officials and members of the National Police guarding the building, indicating that they hope these won’t be the last poison-free loaves of bread left to die Paraguayans and Paraguayans consume.
With information from: