Monday - Sep 24, 2018

Greenpeace protests genetically modified corn in Mexico City


by the El Reportero wire services

Green Peace Starr

Four Greenpeace activists scaled a monument in this capital on Thursday to unfurl a banner denouncing the use of genetically modified organisms in the cultivation of maize, Mexico’s emblematic staple.

The foursome climbed halfway up the Stela of Light, which stands 104 meters (341 feet) tall, hung the banner with the slogan NO OGM and remained for several hours before descending and driving away in a pickup truck.

OGM are the initials of the Spanish translation of genetically modified organisms.

Municipal police erected barriers around the monument after the protest began, but made no effort to stop the activists from hanging the banner or from leaving the scene.

Greenpeace and other Mexican organizations say they fear the possible effects of GMO maize on human health and the environment.

Located in the heart of Mexico City, the Stela of Light was built to commemorate the bicentennial of Mexican independence and the 100th anniversary of the country’s 1910 revolution.

The project ultimately cost more than 1 billion pesos ($78 million) – five times the original estimate – and the monument has become a popular spot for demonstrations.

Brazil and Argentina sign agreement to build nuclear reactors

Atomic power agencies from Brazil and Argentina signed an agreement to build two nuclear reactors for research and production of radioisotopes, said the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT) today.

The agreement, signed by the Brazilian National Commission for Nuclear Energy (CNEN) and the National Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA), is centered on the construction of two reactors: the Brazilian Multipurpose Reasearch Reactor (RMB) and the RA-10 in Argentina, said a spokesman from the MCT.

The action meets the Bilateral Integration and Coordination Mechanism, established in the Joint Declaration of 2008 and signed by Presidents Cristina Fernandez and Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, said the source.

To carry out the project, both sides created the Bi-National Commission on Nuclear Energy (COBEN) which will be in charge of the construction of both reactors.

The atomic agencies of these South American countries have closely collaborated since 2008. Argentina provides Brazil 30 percent of the Molybdenum 99 (Mo99) radioisotopes which are indispensable in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Since 2011 both countries agreed to move forward on greater integration, and carry out a joint project to develop multipurpose reactors, demonstrating the mutual interest in increasing the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Both reactors, once manufactured and functioning, will have a total capacity to cover 40 percent of the world radioisotope market. At the present, only France, Canada, South Africa, Australia and Argentina have the technology to produce radioisotopes.

Reported Hispanically Speaking News: Mexico’s National Anthropology and History Institute’s use of modern technology is paying off with the unprecedented discovery of hundreds of ancient spheres underneath the Temple of the Plumed Serpent pyramid.

A robot was placed inside a narrow tunnel discovered under ‘Quetzalcoatl’, the indigenous name for the Plumed Serpent pyramid, to better explore the 330-foot cluttered tunnel. The actual tunnel was discovered in 2003 after a rain storm.

The robot utilized 3D and infrared technology to undercover these mysterious spheres inside internal chambers that had never been excavated. Mexican archaeologists are reporting that the spheres range in size from 1.5 to 5 inches and are covered by a yellow material thought to be pyrite, a metallic ore.

Additional exploration of the tunnel, with two side chambers, is expected to produce more unique finds. Fortunately the tunnel is well preserved, since it is believed to have been untouched for over 2,000 years.

The pyramid is one of several structures located in Mexico’s ancient city of Teotihuacan established by indigenous people around 100 B.C. and mysteriously abandoned in 700 A.D. Teotihuacan, which means “the place where the gods were created” is one of the largest, preserved pre-Colombian cities in existence.

The ancient ruins are located 30 miles north-east of Mexico City and is one of the oldest known archaeological sites in all of Mexico.

(Prensa Latina contributed to this news report).