Mayan beekeepers in Campeche and Yucatan, Mexico, are celebrating last week’s Supreme Court decision protecting their community and their bees from environmental hazards, including glyphosate, a toxic herbicide. The court suspended Monsanto’s permit to plant Roundup ready GMO soybeans until affected Mayan communities are consulted. The consultation is mandatory because the planting may cause significant impacts on the lives of community members and their environment, say ELAW partners Ximena Ramos and Xavier Martinez, attorneys at the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA).
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup. Monsanto’s GMO soybean plants are bred to resist Roundup and community members are concerned that glyphosate use will contaminate local groundwater and kill bees. ELAW Staff Scientist Dr. Mark Chernaik provided Ximena with peer-reviewed research showing how glyphosate could work its way through the “karst” soils in the region and contaminate groundwater. He also provided studies showing serious impacts on human health tied to glyphosate exposure, including birth defects and cancer, as well as the collapse of bee colonies exposed to herbicide drift.
ELAW has worked with CEMDA for many years to protect communities and the environment through law.
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