Greenpeace activists protect Greek consumers from another shipment of GE soya

Pressure is on the Greek authorities to fully apply EU legislation

Press release - May 25, 2004
This morning, a Greenpeace team including swimmers, canoeists and climbers from Greece, Hungary, Germany, Netherlands and Australia are taking action to prevent a second GE shipment reaching Greek shores. The 'UBC Beaumont' contains 18,000 tons of GE soyameal from Argentina.

Greenpeace swimmers in the water, off the coast of Preveza attempting to prevent the UBC Beaumont, carrying 18,000 tonnes of GE Soyameal from Argentina, from reaching the shores of Greece.

Three Greenpeace swimmers with floating signs saying 'No entry to GMOs' have put themselves in front of the ship and four climbers have boarded the ship with banners reading 'No to the imports of GE' (in Greek) and 'Don't buy GE Food'.

The 'UBC Beaumont' is expected to offload its cargo of soyameal directly into trucks from where it could be delivered directly to the feed industry without any opportunity for investigation by the national government authorities. The Greenpeace activists aim to prevent this from happening.

"Greek consumers do not want GMOs. Surveys over many years now have shown 90% and more of the Greek population reject GMOs. This is supported by the fact that now 48 prefectures out of 54 have been declared as GE Free zones. There is no market for GMOs in Greece!" said Myrto Pispini GE campaigner for Greenpeace Greece.

Greenpeace is also highlighting the fact that millions of tons of these GE imports are being dumped into animal feed where consumers do not know they are used and where people are not given the freedom of choice to avoid them because the meat and dairy products coming from animals fed on GE feed still do not require to be labelled.

"Greenpeace's aim is to prevent the growing of GMOs because of the dangers they present to the environment now and for future generations. We also aim to prevent GMO contamination of the food supply because it is basically an experiment with public health using a crude, potentially dangerous, outdated, unnecessary and unwanted technology. We would frankly rather see these GE imports banned but until they are we certainly are insisting that the current legislation be rigorously applied," said Lindsay Keenan GE campaigner for Greenpeace International.

Following the previous action on Saturday 22 May, an investigation by the Greek Ministry of Agriculture concluded that the shipment on board 'Flag Tom' targeted by Greenpeace can not at present be imported because its documentation is not in accordance with the new EU legislation on GMO labelling and traceability (1830/2003).

VVPR info: Photographs from +31 646 16 2019 Video from +31 646 16 2003

Notes: Greece imports about 500,000 tons of soya annually from the U.S., Argentina and Brazil, an estimated 60% of which is GE or GE contaminated. GE soya covers over 14 million hectares in Argentina. Land is being converted for GE soya production, which leads to Argentinean families being violently removed from their lands for planting GE soya, causing an environmental and social nightmare.