Spanish farmers burn organic crops contaminated with genetically engineered maize.
This chilling statement came from Enric Navarro, an organic
maize[corn] grower from Girona in Spain whose farm has been
dedicated toorganic maize cultivation for the last four years. This
year his cropwas contaminated by genetically engineered [GE]
maize. He doesn'tknow where it came from. It could have been from
any non-organicfield, quite literally, anywhere on the wind.
When GE crops are allowed to "coexist" in the open with organic
crops, what you sow isn't always what you reap.
Enricchose to burn nearly two-thirds of his organic maize crop
after testingrevealed up to 12.6 percent of it was contaminated
with GE, rather thansell his crop at a premium through the organic
He followed his conscience. He suffered a massive economic
Andhe isn't alone. Other organic farmers have burned their crops
ratherthan allow them to further contaminate the Spanish maize
"Iwouldn't be able to sleep at night if I got into the
conventionalmarket with contaminated maize. Even though I know that
there arethousands of hectares of GE maize and that our food chain
is floodedwith it, I felt I could at least intervene in stopping my
ownproduction. This act was done to publicly denounce the situation
we arecurrently living with here in Cataluña with GE." Said
Thechoice facing his home region is clear to Enric: "If Cataluña
abandonsGE, I will continue to make organic maize. If not the
organic maizewill disappear. That simple. That sad."
More stories like Enric's are highlighted in a new report, '
Impossible Coexistence,'which was recently released by
Greenpeace and two Spanish NGOs,Assemblea Pagesa and civil society
group 'Plataforma Trangènics Fora!'.The report documents Spain's
reckless adoption of geneticallyengineered maize and the subsequent
disasters that have befallen manyof the conventional and organic
farmers in two of the main GE growingregions Aragón and
A conference on so-called coexistence is underway in Vienna
where EU delegates will decide on the future of GE cultivation.
Economiclosses like Enric's are a grim reminder of why countries
should closethe door to genetic pollution, especially as consumers
do not want itand markets are closed to this unsafe technology.
Enric hadthis advice to the politicians: "To solve the GE
problem and itssocial, environmental and health implications, the
only option is tonot cultivate a type of crop that the citizens do
Enric has made his stand against GE. Will you? Sign up as an online activist and see what you can do to help stop the spread of GE crops. It's free.
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