NEWS

Greenpeace: Don’t abolish the right to choose

Any acceptance of a permissible limit of contamination of conventional seeds by GM seeds is tantamount to abolishing farmers’ and consumers’ democratic right to choose, says Greenpeace. The environmental organization was responding to the European Commission’s apparent inability to reach a decision on the matter. On September 8, the EC pulled back at the last minute from voting on a draft directive for the new bill concerning seeds that permit up to 0.3 percent GM seed contamination of conventional corn and beet seeds. If the bill goes into force, around 300 GM corn plants or 2,000 GM beet plants could be grown legally per hectare without the knowledge of the farmers. Greenpeace, other environmental and consumer organizations, and trade and farmers’ associations have repeatedly asked the EC not to permit the contamination of conventional seeds by GM organisms. «While the EC refuses to establish rules to protect farmers who grow conventional and organic crops from contamination by GM organisms, only two states in Europe (Denmark and Germany) have started implementing such rules,» said anti-GM campaign chief Myrto Pispini, calling on the Greek agricultural development and food minister to protect farmers, consumers and the environment from the GM invasion.