Island contaminated by illegal GMO

Feature story - 5 September, 2007
Environmental activists today placed an entire island under strict quarantine after finding illegal genetically modified (GMO) soya being grown there.

Greenpeace activists put Braila island, on the Danube river, under quarantine, after Greenpeace field investigations revealed that illegal Genetically Modified (GMO) Soya, is being grown and harvested there.

Bralia Island in Romania is normally a quiet farming area on the Danube river but now it is the site of a huge environmental contamination by soya that has been genetically modified by the agricultural-chemical company, Monsanto.

The peaceful action in Romania began early in the morning when 30 Greenpeace activists from across Europe set up a 'decontamination station' at the ferry harbour area on Braila Island.

All vehicles leaving the island were decontaminated by being thoroughly washed to prevent the genetic contamination from spreading further.

It is illegal for member states of the European Union (EU) which includes Romania, to cultivate GMO Soya. Greenpeace is calling on the Romanian government and the European Commission to act immediately to locate and destroy all of the illegally cultivated GMO Soya.

"We have taken action to protect the rest of Romania from contamination by these illegal GMO crops, which pose massive risks to the environment, biodiversity and human heath. Romanian people have overwhelmingly rejected GMO," said Gabriel Paun, Greenpeace Romania, GMO campaigner.

"This is not the first time Greenpeace has discovered illegal GMO production in Romania, the situation is out of control. The Government must immediately locate and destroy all of the crops before they enter the food chain."

At the same time as activists were decontaminating Bralia Island in Romania, more activists were busy taking action against another site of GMO contamination in France. 20 volunteers painted a field of illegally grown GMO maize (corn) bright red, in order to expose its location.

The GMO maize, known as MON810, is another genetically modified product being pushed onto consumers by Monsanto. The GMO maize is being illegally grown, as either the farmer, or the French government have failed to inform the public of its presence as required under French law.

"By failing to take control, the Romanian and French governments are allowing biotech companies such as Monsanto, to run riot over their environment and ignore the wishes of European people; contaminating their food and their fields" said Myrto Pispini, Greenpeace International GMO campaigner. 

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