Four indigenous, environmental and educational organizations have filed a suit against Ecuador’s new seed law (la ley de semillas) claiming that it will allow the entry of transgenic seeds into the country, threatening native seed varieties and public health.
Carlos Pérez Guartambel, president of the Ecuarunari indigenous group, says the law not only affects the livelihoods of small farmers, many of them indigenous, but poses a health danger to all Ecuadorians. “It allows into the country products and seed stocks that will result in an increase in cases of cancer and other diseases.”
Pérez said the law was “forced” through the National Assembly by former president Rafael Correa over the objections of Ecuador’s small farmers. “It was part of his regime of oppression against the people of Ecuador and our suit demands that it be rescinded in the interest of national health.”
In addition to Ecuarunari, the suit is supported by the indigenous group Pachamama, the National Union of Educators and the Ecological Action Front.