Greenpeace defends Brazil's right to remain GE free

Global Wind has 'wind' knocked out of its sails

Feature story - 4 May, 2004
Greenpeace activists from the Arctic Sunrise have prevented the entrance of the 'Global Wind' ship into the port of Paranagua, Brazil. The ship is carrying 30 000 tons of Genetically Engineered (GE) soya from Argentina.

A Greenpeace activist chains himself to the anchor chain of bulk carrier 'Global Wind', a ship carrying GM Soya from Argentina planning to

Our activists left the Arctic Sunrise around 10 AM. Just 10 minutes were enough for them to reach the Global Wind. Pablo, an activist from Argentina, chained himself to the anchor and labelled it with a GE banner, his presence also prevented the ship going into the port with its contaminated shipment.

Paraná, the second biggest soya producer in Brazil banned the growing, transport and export of GE soya in its territory last year after the federal government gave temporary approval for GE soya. Paranagua is the only port in Brazil that implements strong measures to keep its export free of GE contamination despite the fact that it is under huge pressure to accept GE.

Global Wind is comming from Argentina half loaded with GE soya. Its aim is to complete its cargo with non-GE soya at the Port of Paranagua. Obviously, we couldn't let so much effort to produce non-GE soya be in vain if this cargo would be mixed.

"The economical advantage of being one of the only major world suppliers of non-GE soya could be lost if there is no control to avoid contamination," said Gabriela Vuolo, our campaigner on board of the Arctic Sunrise. "Greenpeace demands assurances from the government that it is not allowing Brazilian non-GE soya exports to be threatened."

Last year Brazil's federal government allowed GE soya to enter the country and it has not taken the necessary measures to guarantee that the proper use of documentation and information to track these crops is followed as the national and international legislation require.

"The federal government must support the efforts of Paraná state to remain non-GE, and should immediately implement thorough control measure to prevent GE contamination," said Gabriela Vuolo. "It must support Paraná's ban and extend the ban on GE soya to include GE shipments coming to be "top-loaded" with non-GE. Other Brazilian states should also to follow Paraná's example."

Pablo stayed on the anchor until 2 PM, when Lata, a Brazilian activist, went there to take over.