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Mr. Francisco Javier Mayorga Castañeda, Secretary of Agriculture, Rural Development, Fishing and Food
Cc. Mr. Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources
Cc. Mr. Salomón Chertorivski Woldenberg, Secretary of Health
Cc. Mr. Bruno Ferrari Garcia de Alba, Secretary of Economy
Cc. Dr. José Enrique Villa Rivera, General Director of the National Council for Science and Technology

 

Mexico City, April 27, 2012.

 

Those who sign this letter, scientists of universities and public research centers, specialists in ecology and management of bees, linked through our research to sustainable development in rural Mexico, communicate our opinion with respect to the solicitude 007/2012 presented to SAGARPA for planting 253,500 hectares of genetically modified soy (event MON-04032-6) in five polygons in the Yucatán Peninsula, Chiapas, and the Huasteca Plains. As we consider that such planting will inevitably affect the quality and market of bee honey, with negative economic, social, and environmental consequences, and also negatively affect the health of native bees, in accordance with the precautionary principle, we request that you not approve the solicitude mentioned until scientific research demonstrates without a doubt that genetically modified crops may coexist with honey production and bee health.

Several facts back up this opinion. First, Mexico is the sixth largest producer and third largest exporter (85% to European Union countries) of bee (Apis mellifera) honey worldwide. Forty thousand beekeepers and their families depend on honey production for their livelihoods (SAGARPA, 2010). Secondly, as a consequence of a September, 2011 decision by the EU Court of Justice, Mexican honey exported to the EU must be free of pollen from genetically modified crops. Thirdly, Mexico is one of the nations with the greatest biodiversity in the world, home to over 1,800 species of native bees. In this context, several scientific studies affirm that planting genetically modified soybeans, among other GM crops, involves two risks: the presence of pollen from such crops in honey (as demonstrated by analyses reported in the attached document), making its marketing practically impossible, and negative effects on the health of honey bees and native bees.

Based on international accords (Rio Declaration on Environment and Development), as well as Mexican laws (Biosafety Law on Genetically Modified Organisms), this situation calls for the application of the precautionary principle in order to avoid putting native Mexican bees and Mexican apiculture at risk, thus seeking to protect their economic, social, and environmental roles.

The cited Biosafety Law, in Article 9, fraction VI, establishes that “the knowledge, opinions, and experience of scientists, particularly those of the nation, constitute a valuable element for orientation so that regulation and administration of activities with GMOs be based on studies and judgments which have scientific backing.” Therefore, we do not doubt that our opinion will lead to the decision to not approve the solicitude mentioned above.

We send this letter as an exercise of the right to petition established in Article 8 of the Political Constitution of Mexico and await a response to this petition.

The arguments expressed in this petition to not approve the solicitude for planting genetically modified soybeans are further explained in the attached document.

- ATTACHMENT

 #  NAME FIELD OF STUDYINSTITUTION POSITION & AWARDSCOUNTRY
1. Rémy Vandame, Dr.Ecología de abejasEl Colegio de la Frontera SurSNI IIMéxico
2. Carlos Hernán Vergara Briceño, PhDPolinizaciónUniversidad de las Américas PueblaSNI IMéxico
3. Rogel Villanueva Gutiérrez, PhDEcología de abejasEl Colegio de la Frontera SurMéxico
4. Daniel Sánchez Guillén, PhDEcología de artrópodosECOSURSNI nivel 1MEXICO
5. Ricardo Ayala Barajas, Dr.Sistemática de AbejasInstituto de BiologíaSNI 1México
6. David Alejandro Correa Holguín, Estudiante MaestConservacion y Aprovechamiento de Recursos NaturalesInstituto Politécnico NacionalMéxico
7. Octavio Miramontes, PhDBiocomplejidadUNAMInvestigador Titular, SNI II, Premio "Jorge Lomnitz" UNAM-AMCMexico
8. Alejandro de Ávila Blomberg, Ph.D.etnobiologíaJardín Etnobotánico de OaxacaDirector; Mención Honorífica, Premio al Mérito Ecológico 2007México
9. Luis Zambrano Gonzalez, PhDEcologíaInstituto de BiologíaMéxico
10. Luis Zambrano Gonzalez, PhDEcologíaInstituto de BiologíaMéxico
11. Arturo Carrillo Reyes, Dr.EcologíaUniversidad de Ciencias y Artes de ChiapasProfesor, miembro del Sistema Estatal de Investigadores, Presidente de la organización Oikos: Conservación y Desarrollo SustentableMéxico
12. Iván Pável Moreno Espíndola, MScMicrobiología de suelosUAM XochimilcoProfesor temporal en la UAM-XMéxico
13. cristobal giron cabrera, ingenierodocenciaINSTITUTO TECNOLOGICO DE SALINACRUZMEXICO
14. Arturo Ruiz Luna, PhDEcología del paisajeCIADInvestigador Tit. C. SNI I, Miembro Regular de la Academia de CienciasMéxico
15. Luis M García-Feria, DrMedicina y Genética de la ConservaciónInstituto de EcologíaMéxico
16. María Guadalupe Guadarrama Huerta, M. en C.BiologíaUNAMEstudiante de Docotorado en GeografíaMéxico
17. Genaro Juarez Martinez, UNAMMexico
18. Elena Álvarez Buylla, PhDGenética Molecular del DesarrolloInst de EcologíaInv. Titular C de TC, Jefe del Dpto de Ecol Funcional, SNI III, Premio de la AMC, Premio UNAM, Premio Heberto Castillo, Becario Miller.México
19. Karla Diana Infante Ramírez, MScEtnoecologíaECOSURTécnico académicoMÉXICO
20. Paula Enríquez, PhDEcologíaEl Colegio de la Frontera SurMexico

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