Costa Rican Court Declares GMO Approval Process Unconstitutional
Costa Rica’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court has reportedly struck down the country’s approval process for projects using genetically modified organisms (GMOs), finding it violates the constitutional rights to a healthy environment and—because of the confidentiality of the process— freedom of information. Environmental groups challenged the process in late 2012, and the Ombudsman’s Office represented their views in court, arguing that the GMO approval process prevented Costa Ricans from accessing information that could potentially affect their health and well-being. The ruling affects the Fitosanitary Law, but it does not ban GMOs or affect GMO projects that have already been approved. See Tico Times, September 11 and 16, 2014.