Less than seven months ago, Avaaz started collecting signatures for an unprecedented EU-wide citizens’ initiative aimed at the European Commission - calling for a moratorium on genetically modified (GM) crops. We thought it was such a great idea that we rushed to join forces with them and asked our supporters to sign the same petition and get their friends involved. There was an overwhelming response from way beyond our usual supporter base and we hit the 1 million mark last week. Myrto, our GE campaigner, was dancing around the office with a huge smile on her face.
Signatures continue to pour in from across Europe and even though we’ve reached a million and plan to deliver the petition to the EU Commission soon, we are still collecting signatures to make sure the petition is truly representative of countries across Europe.
Have you added your name yet to stop the dangerous spread of GE crops in the EU?
The petition is the first petition to reach 1 million that will be submitted as a European Citizens’ Initiative. This initiative is part of the EU Lisbon Treaty allowing a million European citizens to formally request that the Commission take legislative steps to address their demands.
Signatures on our petition come from every country in the EU and reflect the dominant public opposition to GM crops. In the only European-wide poll on public opposition to GE crops, almost 60% of Europeans expressed their concern.
A few months ago we sent a bus around Europe to promote a GE-free future, collect signatures for the petition and support local farmers in several countries who are very worried about the effects of GE crops. Watch the audio slideshow of the bus tour below...
“This is a massive step for European democracy. European citizens have given President Barroso more than a million reasons to listen to the public and act with precaution rather than cave to the private interests of the GM industry.” -- Avaaz Executive Director Ricken Patel
“People from all corners of Europe know that GM crops are bad for food and farming. Europeans are fed up with the EU Commission pushing through GM crops in the face of public rejection – the Commission cannot ignore them.” -- Greenpeace EU Director Jorgo Riss
Together with Avaaz, we informed Commission President José Manuel Barroso of the
successful initiative yesterday and requested a personal handover of the petition and signatures in the coming weeks. We expect the Commission to address the concerns of European citizens, EU governments and independent scientists. With over a million voices joining this call in an official request that’s the first of its kind - how can they refuse?
Your voice can make a difference. Add your name to the petition now and help us make it even stronger by asking your friends to join you. The most successful way people have recruited others is via email. In France and Belgium - we discovered that one email ended up being passed onto thousands of people - generating a massive amount of traffic to the petition page on our website. Despite all the promotions we did via social media it was still ‘old school’ email that got the best response. And as usual - it wasn’t us that did it - it was someone outside Greenpeace who wrote a passionate email to their friends and kicked off a fantastic butterfly effect.
Thanks to all of you who have helped us reach this goal. Your name will be officially submitted in just a few weeks! We’ll keep you updated.