World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


GE Contamination in Spain: a warning for Europe

GE Contamination in Spain: a warning for Europe

Vienna, 4 April 2006--The spiralling uptake of Genetically Engineered (GE) crops in Spain is causing massive genetic contamination, threatens the livelihood of farmers and urgently needs to be suspended, says Greenpeace. In a new report

'Impossible Coexistence', environmentalists (1) show how GE crops in Spain - the only EU country that grows Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on a large scale - are undermining agricultural biodiversity and consumer choice.

"This report should be taken as a warning to the Commission and Europe in general of the dangers of GE production, " said Greenpeace campaigner Geert Ritsema from Vienna where a major European Commission conference on coexistence begins today. "Despite guarantees by various Spanish governments that guidelines and controls would ensure safety, farmers and consumer choice the reality has been the opposite.

"Testimonials from farmers demonstrate that the unabated growth of the GE industry now represents the single largest threat to their livelihoods, especially in the regions Aragón and Catalonia where GE crops are mainly cultivated."

The report 'Impossible Coexistence' written in cooperation with farmer organisation Assemblea Pagesa and civil society group Plataforma Trangènics Fora!, is based on thorough research including laboratory tests of samples taken from the maize fields of 40 Spanish organic and conventional farmers, documents the following:

- In almost a quarter of the investigated cases unintended and unwanted presence of GE maize was found in the maize fields of non GE farmers. The GE contamination was as high as 12.6 %;

- In several cases the affected farmers suffered economic losses, as they were not able anymore to sell the contaminated maize at a premium market value.

- Three of the contamination cases involved local maize varieties which, after ears of careful selection, can no longer be used for future plantings; These ases show how GE contamination is a threat to biodiversity and to the few local varieties that are still in the hands of farmers;

"The lack of GE regulation in Spain is a slap in the face to organic and conventional farmers who have put blood, sweat and tears into their businesses and now find the interests of big Agro Biotech firms like Syngenta and Monsanto not only being placed above local communities and ultimately damaging their livelihoods," said Mr Antonio Ruiz, president of the Organic Farming Committee of Aragón, who attended a Greenpeace press conference in Vienna today.

Greenpeace is calling on the Spanish authorities to immediately suspend the cultivation of GMOs in Spain. It is also calling on EU ministers and the European Commission to prevent the cultivation of GE crops in other EU countries.

"The Spanish experience demonstrates that GE and non-GE co-existence is a fallacy," said Ritsema. "European Ministers attending this week's meeting should seriously consider whether they wish it upon the farmers and consumers in the rest of Europe."

Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to drive solutions essential to a green and peaceful future.

For further information:

Notes to Editors

(1) The report, which was written by Greenpeace in cooperation with farmer organisation Assemblea Pagesa and civil society group Plataforma Trangènics Fora!, was launched today at the opening of a major European Commission conference attended by EU ministers in Vienna. The conference will discuss the EU's future policy on "coexistence" and determine if GE and Non GE crops can be grown together.

Impossible Coexistence: Seven years of GMOs have contaminated organic and conventional maize: an examination of the cases of Catalonia and Aragon, is available for downloading at: www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/impossible-coexistence

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news