Esperanza intercepts GE crops in southern Spain

Feature story - 28 April, 2004
This morning our 'Gene Detectives' from the Esperanza intercepted and boarded the 'Winner' a ship carrying thousands of tons of GE soya where it is anchored just off Malaga in southern Spain.

Greenpeace activists today occupy the cranes of the

At 8am this morning our climbers boarded the Winner - or as we like to call it the Loser - from inflatable boats. Six volunteers climbed onto the ship's cranes (to prevent them being used to off-load any GE cargo) another two carried banners in English and Spanish saying, 'Spain does not want GE Food' and 'We don't want GE Food' one went on the mast and another on the anchor.

Lindsay Keenan, our GE Campaigner onboard the Esperanza said: "GE soya does not feed the world as suggested by the misleading and cynical marketing of GE companies like Monsanto. GE soya destroys the environment where it is grown in Argentina and then millions of tons of it are used to feed pigs, cows and chickens in Europe."

The Winner from Argentina is carrying about 9,000 tons of GE soya and about 11,000 tons of maize for the company Nidera. The GE status of the maize is not known at this time. However our 'Gene Detectives' have demanded documentation from the captain of the Winner to find out exactly what GE crops his ship is carrying. We have also taken samples for independent analysis.

Spain is the second largest importer of soya into the EU, importing 6 million tons annually from the USA, Argentina and Brazil, of which over 4 million tons are estimated to be GE contaminated.

"In Argentina we have people going to bed hungry yet between 1997 and 2002 farmers in Argentina planted GE soya in over 14 million hectares of arable land, lured by the promises of higher crop yields and cheaper seeds," said Daniela Montalto, our campaigner from Argentina.

"For a while the illusion worked, but now the truth is we are facing an environmental and social nightmare in Argentina. We invite people the world over to reject GMOs in favor of real, sustainable agriculture which feeds people not pigs and we invite people to also vote with their wallet - don't buy GE food."