17 countries and 4 regions of the European Union have already banned the cultivation of genetically modified maize MON 810, owned by Monsanto.
On June 5th, to mark World Environment Day, Friends of the Earth Spain together with the Platform for Territories Free from GMOs of Navarra and other environmental organizations held an Open Parliament Session in Pamplona, capital of Navarra, titled “Genetically modified crops: legal and political framework to ban them”.
“Most of the GM crops that other European countries don´t want to cultivate are grown in Spain”, stated Friends of the Earth Spain. For municipalities to declare themselves “free from GMOs” they can use legal tools in force in the European Union since 2015.
One of the speakers was Carlos Alonso, a lawyer expert on environmental law and activist at Ekologistak Martxan, who regretted that “almost 90 per cent of European crops cultivated with GM seeds are grown in Spain”.
Teresa Rodríguez, spokesperson of Friends of the Earth Spain, was critical about the fact that GM crops entered Spain through the “front door”, 20 years ago. “We are the only country that grows GMOs at a large-scale”, said Rodríguez, who also highlighted the victories obtained despite the power of the agroindustry and reminded that the agricultural model promoted by FoEI is environmentally sound, local and small-scale.
Lynn Boylan, Member of the European Parliament, of the European United Left–Nordic Green Left also participated at the open session. She said “I´m here today on the request of Friends of the Earth to outline why I think that Navarra should consider opting out from cultivating genetically modified organisms”.
Boylan also stated that this flawed technology “forces farmers into not only having to purchase the seeds constantly, but also to depend on pesticides, which is bad for the environment and in the long run the weeds and pests evolve so you need to keep using more and more pesticides, which causes more and more harm to the environment”, and she added “I´m here today to talk about that and hopefully maybe some of the arguments I make will give some consideration for the people in the Navarra Parliament to follow Ireland in opting out of GM”.