viernes, febrero 17, 2006

Press release
Puerto Rico Project on Biosafety


(Thursday, February 2 2006) The establishment of the AgReliant Genetics company in the municipality of Santa Isabel reinforces Puerto Rico's role as a laboratory for experiments with genetically engineered (GE) crops, exposing the Caribbean island to multiple environmental and human health risks and compromising the integrity of its agriculture, warned the Puerto Rico Project on Biosafety.

The establishment of biotechnology companies in Puerto Rico forms part of the so-called "knowledge economy" that the current administration is promoting, as evidenced in the governor's speech last Monday.

"We are gravely concerned by governor Aníbal Acevedo-Vilá's policy of fast track approval for every type of biotechnology-related activity in Puerto Rico, without the most minimal precautionary measures to determine what impacts these could have on our ecology, public health and agriculture", declared the Project on Biosafety.

"The technology of genetic engineering is inherently risky, unstable and unpredictable", said environmental educator Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero, the organization's director and founder. "To this day there is not a single independent peer-reviewed scientific study that says that genetically engineered foods are safe for human consumption, and for this reason these novel products should be treated with extreme caution."

The Puerto Rico Project of Biosafety was founded in 2004 to educate the citizenry about the impacts ot genetically engineered products.

US Agriculture Department documents show that, with the exception of Hawaii, no state of the American union has as many experimental GE crop test plots per square miles as Puerto Rico.

The non-governmental organization advises that Puerto Rico could have an ecologically sound agriculture, with justice for farmers and serving the best interests of the Puerto Rican consumer, but that such an advanced form of agriculture is incompatible with the model promoted by the government, which is environmentally risky, intensive in the use of toxic agrochemicals, and benefits only transnational agribusiness corporations.

For more information:

"Puerto Rico's Biotech Harvest", by Carmelo Ruiz Marrero


(787) 771-4473, 203-2615

Darlington Building, apartment #703
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00925


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