Target: Enrique Martínez y Martínez, Secretary of Agriculture for Mexico with the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA)
Goal: Call on the Secretary to uphold a judge’s recent decision to revoke Monsanto’s permit to plant genetically modified soy across Mexico on the grounds that such crops pose a great threat to bees
Thousands of families in Mexico depend on beekeeping for their livelihoods. The Yucatán peninsula is home to a thriving honey industry, with much of the final product bound for European markets. So when Monsanto, one of the world’s largest producers of chemicals and genetically modified (GM) crops, sought a permit to farm huge swaths of land communities responded with understandable outrage. They pushed back through the courts where ultimately a judge decided that based on all the evidence available Monsanto’s GM crops were simply too great a threat. The company’s permit was revoked.
Monsanto has engineered numerous crops to be resistant to its “Roundup” brand herbicide. These crops can survive repeated dousing with chemicals normally deadly to plant life, leading to an increased use of Roundup while polluting the water and soil. The company insists its products are completely safe, and has lobbied aggressively against any efforts to restrict its activities in the United States, Mexico and around the world.
The Guardian reports that even after thousands of Mexican farmers, scientists and activists protested Monsanto’s proposed farming regulators granted permits for the company to begin planting more than 600,000 acres of GM soybeans. A district judge in Yucatán revoked the permit for several reasons: namely, because contamination from GM pollen could cost Mexico its European honey market; and because herbicides like Roundup have been linked to the decline of bee colonies around the world.
Mexico’s agriculture ministry, SAGARPA, approved Monsanto’s permit once before. The company will almost certainly appeal the move to halt its soy production there. Call on SAGARPA to uphold the judge’s decision and protect Mexico’s bees from deadly chemicals and corporate greed.
Dear Secretary Martínez y Martínez,
Your agency has approved Monsanto’s farming of more than 600,000 acres of GM soybeans. As noted in the Guardian, this approval flew in the face of recommendations from the Mexican National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas and the National Institute of Ecology as well as thousands of Mayan farmers. I am grateful that a Yucatán district judge ruled to revoke this permit, and call on you to uphold this common-sense decision.
The Mexican honey industry would be devastated by an influx of GM crops. European markets would likely refuse to accept honey tainted with GM pollen, and there is much scientific evidence to show that herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup are wreaking havoc on bee colonies. Please, take a stand to protect Mexico’s bees and uphold the decision to prevent Monsanto from farming GM soy.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Julia Wilkins via Wikimedia Commons