GMOs in Cuba’s Agriculture Questioned

HAVANA TIMES – A group of American intellectuals who recently traveled to Havana to attend the meeting “socialist renewal and capitalist crisis “, released a text on Saturday, criticizing the use of GMOs in the island.

The signatories expressed their deep concern over the introduction of agricultural practices based on the use of genetically modified organisms, according to information published at http://www.MitchelCohen.com.

“We oppose the use of genetically modified agriculture in our own countries, and ask for a thorough public discussion of this issue in Cuba. We hope that this discussion will lead to Cuba’s total renunciation of the use of genetically engineered agricultural technologies,” says the note.

The list of 18 signatories also included professors from the University of Havana: MarxLenin P. Valdes, Zoila Fajardo, Rita L. Moneia Fernandez and Orlando Cruz Capote.


2 thoughts on “GMOs in Cuba’s Agriculture Questioned

  • July 4, 2013 at 2:26 pm
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    In addition, I want to point out that the statement reflects only the views of those who signed it and is not a statement from the delegation as a whole. I have to make that very clear, because the political climate in the U.S. around Cuba is very hostile, polarized and volatile, and we do not wish our views on this particular issue to be used as fodder for right-wing distortions and propaganda. The signers of this “open letter to the Cuban people” are all in solidarity with Cuba and support Cuba’s right to self-determination in charting out its own future.

  • July 4, 2013 at 2:07 pm
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    It is not accurate to characterize the statement opposing GMOs as “criticizing” Cuba or its policies. Here is the full statement and signatories. Please note that the North Americans in the same delegation did in fact “criticize” (and condemned) the U.S. government’s ongoing blockade of Cuba.

    AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CUBAN PEOPLE AGAINST GENETIC ENGINEERING OF AGRICULTURE

    We, the undersigned friends of the Cuban revolution visiting Havana and participating in the Encuentro of “Socialist Renovation and Capitalist Crisis,” are deeply concerned with the proposed introduction of genetically modified agriculture to Cuba.

    We recognize that unlike other technologies, once a genetically engineered organism is released into the wild, it will be difficult to recall. The engineered
    genes will drift, invade other plants and reproduce on their own, transforming indigenous plants in ways that are not known, unplanned, and potentially dangerous to human health and to Cuba’s sensitive ecological balance.

    We oppose the genetic engineering of agriculture in our own countries and we urge a full and public discussion of this issue in Cuba, hopefully leading to Cuba’s complete rejection of genetically engineered agricultural technology.

    (signed)

    Mitchel Cohen
    Green Party, and WBAI Radio
    Brooklyn, New York

    Nancy Cain
    Sierra Club
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Beth Youhn
    BACLT
    Oakland, California

    Larry Udell
    West Chester University
    Poenixville, Pennsylvania

    Eduardo Mendieta
    Stony Brook University
    E. Setauket, New York

    MarxLenin P. Valdes
    Universidad de la Habana
    La Habana, Cuba

    Mary Rushfield
    New York University
    New York City, New York

    David Schweikert
    Loyola University
    Chicago, Illinois

    Gene Vanderport
    Socialist Forum
    Urbana, Illinois

    Peter Ranis
    City College of New York Graduate Center
    New York City, New York

    Frank Marshalek
    Indiana University
    Bloomington, Indiana

    Vicki Legion
    American Federation of Teachers
    San Francisco, California

    Yodenis Guirola
    University of Barcelona
    Barcelona, Spain / Sta Clara, Cuba

    Chris Kinder
    Labor Action to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
    Oakland, California

    Zoila Fajardo
    Universidad de la Habana
    Habana, Cuba

    William Crossman
    Cuban 5 Committee
    Oakland, California

    Rita L. Moneia Fernandez
    Medico Master C.P.
    Universidad de la Habana
    Habana, Cuba

    Orlando Cruz Capote
    Institute Filosofia
    Universidad de la Habana
    Habana, Cuba

    *The names of the organizations are solely for identification purposes. Cada firmante de la carta abierta se auto-identifica como integrante de su respectiva organización, pero ello no debe ser interpretado como una implicación de que la propia organización ha tomado posición en el asunto.

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