Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2 GM Maize trials trashed in Catalonia, Spain

Today, 12th July 2010, dozens of people came together to sabotage two experimental GM Maize trials belonging to Syngenta, located in the municipality of Torroella de Montgrí (Baix Empordà, Girona, Catalunya).

We destroyed Syngenta's open-air genetic experiment because we understand that this kind of direct action is the best way to respond to the fait accompli policy through which the Generalitat, the State and the bio-tech multinationals have been unilaterally imposing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our agriculture and our food.

The Spanish State, with more than 75,000 hectares sown in 2009, represents a concentration of approximately 80% of the surface area of GMOs harvested in Europe. After Aragon, Catalonia is the area of Europe that harvests the largest area of GMOs, around 27,000 hectares. In recent years, 42% of the experimental GMO field trials in the EU have been planted in the Spanish State.

Syngenta are the third largest seed corporation in the world (after Monsanto and Dupont). Their objective is to gain a monopoly domination of the global seed market so that all farmers and all agricultural production on the planet depends on their seed sales. Syngenta, and other transnational corporations (TNCs) that control a) the global market in agricultural goods (seeds, fertilizers, agro-chemicals...) , b) the circuits for the distribution and commercialization of food and agricultural raw materials, and c) the global market in final products, is one of the principal promoters and beneficiaries of the corporate industrial model that currently dominates. After having been imposed for decades on a planetary scale, more and more voices indicate that 1) this devastating social and productive model is one of the principal causes of the food, ecological and climate crises that humanity currently faces, and 2) genetically modified crops represent a new turn of the screw of the agro-industrial model, which does nothing more than deepen the devastating social, cultural and environmental impacts associated with transnational agro-business.

According to European legislation, experimental GMO field trials represent an indispensable intermediate step in gaining EEC approval to grow and harvest as yet unauthorized varieties of genetically modified crops in the EU. Many groups in Europe have for years condemned the protocol that the bio-tech transnationals must follow to gain approval for their genetically modified seeds, as being full of irregularities and pit falls. Among these, the most notable are the various scandals that have hit the European food security Agency, (EFSA) which have made it quite clear that this supposedly scientific body is in the pay of the genetics industry. On the other hand, it is important to uncover the role of the EEC itself in the underhand promotion of GM crops by the EEC itself.

Twelve years since GM maize crops were first planted in Catalonia, the appearance of dozens of cases of genetic contamination of organic and conventional agricultural products (contamination of seed batches, fields, animal feeds and products destined for human consumption) has repeatedly demonstrated that the supposed coexistence between GM and non-GM crops is totally impossible and undesirable. The proliferation of genetically modified agriculture in our territory has led to the extinction of a number of varieties of traditional wheat (“morat” and “del queixal”) and a reduction of 95% in the cultivation of organic maize between 2002 and 2008.

All this leads unequivocally to the conclusion that GM agriculture makes it impossible to develop and consolidate social models and models of production, distribution and consumption that differ from the dominant model, based on agro-ecology and the struggle for peoples' food sovereignty. Because of this, we fundamentally reject both GM crops and the techno-industrial capitalist society that makes them possible and necessary (… necessary to ensure that the powerful few consolidate their domination of the global population, and perfect the business strategies). We therefore call for people to take the step to action to destroy their genetically modified crops and the social order perpetuated by those that promote them.


Abbadon said...

By taking responsibility doesn't that make way for police to arrest you and criminal charges/law suit brought forward?

Anonymous said...

"All this leads unequivocally to the conclusion that GM agriculture makes it impossible to develop and consolidate social models and models of production, distribution and consumption that differ from the dominant model, based on agro-ecology and the struggle for peoples' food sovereignty."


I'm intrigued as to how this group have reached these conclusions. Can anyone provide some more direct details of how transgenic technologies are stopping social models of production? I'm a researcher in the field of transgenic plant production and I'm trying to generate plants that can be used to help provide vaccines and therapeutic proteins that are too expensive for most of the world. These products would be the definition of a social model of production.

My concern is that this (crop destruction) action will prevent my research being used to help people for whom the current paradigm of biotechnology is already far too past their means.

It is also really nice to claim that food sovereignty is negatively affecting food sovereignty, but can you please place this in perspective of food sovereignty issues related to environmental, social and trade concerns? I wonder why it is they have chose a well-proven and safe technology to base their concerns on when there are far greater concerns regarding the future of global food security (which is the general agreement of the UNFAO)?

I'm going to leave this comment annonymously as this group has already shown that violence is not beyond their means, but would be very interested in hearing comments addressed to my points in the comments section. What I am failing to understand here?



Dave said...

Other versions of this on the internet show the source of the information. The `usual suspects' are there - the North American lobbyists such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and ETC, with European clones such as GRAIN.

North America exports vast amounts of GM crops. North America does not want Europe to compete on a level playing field. North America exports NGO activism to prevent this.

Wise up research-trashers - you are being used by urban elites in big offices. A bit like Boeing trashing Airbus. And, incidentally, you are preventing farmers choosing the most economic way of making a living.

Solidarity Poster for Polykarpos Georgiadis and Vaggelis Chrisohoidis (greece)

did anyone speak of a
“…A handful of capitalists
have organized a criminal gang
and have kidnapped the proletarians,
demanding for ransom
their labor force,
merchandising their human activity,
their time (which is turned into money),
their own being itself…”
to vaggelis Chrisohoidis and Polykarpos Georgiadis
who the persecuting authorities, exactly because they denied to betray values and people,
accuse them as participators in the kidnapping of industrialist Milonas
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