While scientific progress on molecular biology has a great potential to increase our understanding of nature and provide new medical tools, it should not be used as justification to turn the environment into a giant genetic experiment by commercial interests. The biodiversity and environmental integrity of the world's food supply is too important to our survival to be put at risk.
What's wrong with genetic engineering (GE)?
Genetic engineering enables scientists to create plants, animals and micro-organisms by manipulating genes in a way that does not occur naturally.
These genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can spread through nature and interbreed with natural organisms, thereby contaminating non 'GE' environments and future generations in an unforeseeable and uncontrollable way.
Their release is 'genetic pollution' and is a major threat because GMOs cannot be recalled once released into the environment.
Because of commercial interests, the public is being denied the right to know about GE ingredients in the food chain, and therefore losing the right to avoid them despite the presence of labelling laws in certain countries.
Biological diversity must be protected and respected as the global heritage of humankind, and one of our world's fundamental keys to survival. Governments are attempting to address the threat of GE with international regulations such as the Biosafety Protocol.
April 2010: Farmers, environmentalists and consumers from all over Spain demonstrate in Madrid under the slogan "GMO-free agriculture." They demand the Government to follow the example of countries like France, Germany or Austria, and ban the cultivation of GM maize in Spain.
GMOs should not be released into the environment since there is not an adequate scientific understanding of their impact on the environment and human health.
We advocate immediate interim measures such as labelling of GE ingredients, and the segregation of genetically engineered crops and seeds from conventional ones.
We also oppose all patents on plants, animals and humans, as well as patents on their genes. Life is not an industrial commodity. When we force life forms and our world's food supply to conform to human economic models rather than their natural ones, we do so at our own peril.