July 17, 2004

Puerto Rico’s Biotech Harvest

Category: Politics — Biella @ 6:55 pm

A regular contributor to Indymedia Puerto Rico Carmelo Ruiz has written an excellent article, Puerto Rico’s Biotech Harvest detailing the distrurbing, entirely unmonitored experiments with GE foods going on in Puerto Rico. He asks, why PR?, and he provides with no frills, its answer.

But another reason for choosing Puerto Rico is its “good political climate.” Puerto Rico is not an independent country, nor is it a state of the American union. It is an “unincorporated territory.” Puerto Ricans are US citizens subject to US laws, yet they cannot vote in presidential elections and have no representation in Congress. There are no anti-biotech campaigns or protesters, not even the mildest criticism. If the American people are for the most part unaware of genetic engineering and food biotechnology issues, the people of Puerto Rico are blissfully in the dark.

This of course is no isolated case in PR or in the region. Since the turn of the last century, the Caribbean and Central America have been part of America’s Manifest Destiny, in particulary a convenient “backyard,’ a test bed for various social, medical, agricultural experiements, most of which never produced any benefits to local populations, only harm. Whether it is the very visible military take over of the region or the less visible but as harmful birth control experiments to test the first very high hormone pill on Puerto Rican women (who gave no consent to the experiments) the Caribbean has been America’s pet laboratory, indeed perfect because of Puerto Rico’s fundamentally ambigous political status…

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