The local subsidiary of Monsanto operating in Costa Rica has been granted permission to grow genetically modified corn in the country. Costa Rica’s National Biosecurity Technical Commission announced the authorization for Delta & Pine Land Seed Ltda (D&PL), which is owned by Monsanto. The permission was granted by a majority vote.

Monsanto will be allowed to plant one or two hectares of GM corn to obtain seeds or for research. The authorization does not allow for consumption or marketing within the country. All seed that is produced through the process will be exported.

When D&PL requested permission to plant GM corn in the country, environmental and anti-GM groups protested the move. The country’s own top agricultural officials wrote a letter against the authorization of GM crops in their country. The letter came from the faculty of Agricultural Sciences and the faculty of Biology at the University of Costa Rica and the Coast Rica Agronomy Engineers’ Association.

Approximately 443.1 hectares of biotech crops are grown in Costa Rica with the majority (394.3 hectares) being cotton.