Since genetically modified crops first came to Costa Rica in 1991, the locations of farms have been kept under wraps. But a new ruling from Costa Rica's Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court will now require that type of information to be made public.
In a ruling Thursday lauded by Costa Rica's anti-GMO activists, the country's Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, struck down the government's regulatory framework on genetically modified organisms, declaring the process of approval for GMO projects unconstitutional.
A consortium of scientists announced Thursday in Science that they've sequenced the coffee genome for the first time. By determining all of the genes that make up robusta coffee, a plant variety that accounts for about one-third of the world's consumption, they've opened the door to better breeding practices and even genetic engineering.
Awaiting a decision on legal reforms from the courts, anti-GMO activists in Costa Rica have taken the fight over transgenic crops to a grassroots level. The latest symbolic victory for those opposed to genetically modified organisms happened on July 25, when President Luis Guillermo Solís signed a decree naming native corn as cultural heritage, a designation managed by the Culture Ministry.