Mass Mobilization Defeats GM Rice in Spain

Cross Posted from Amigos de la Tierra

Translation by Lilac

Valencia’s local government has revoked the permit of an Italian pharmaceutical company to experiment with GM rice combined with human genes in Vinaros, Castellon. After protests from social, ecologist and peasant organizations, the Valencian Committee of Genetically Modified Organisms, which depends on the Council of Agriculture, has rejected this dangerous crop.

The aim of this transgenic rice is getting enzymes to treat Gaucher disease. However, there are already several treatments for this disease derived from genetic engineering in confined, laboratory environments, which make this experiment clearly unnecessary and purely for commercial purposes. The risks of such experimentation are too high, and there are now several cases of food chain contamination by genetically modified organisms (GMOs) experimental, some of them with rice crops also.

The strong social pressure took place through the efforts of various social organizations, environmentalists and farmers, in which the movement Castellón 15M was also involved, setting up information booths on GMOs in various places of the province, sending this issue to civil society. Talks and discussions were held openly, a cyberaction was held in which more than 5,000 people participated, and the registration of more than 500 petitions requesting the annulment of the permit were presented. As a result of this citizens’ movement that has been achieved, Vinaròs full council declared the municipality free of transgenics. However, they continue to hold dozens of experiments with transgenics in the country, and Spain remains the only EU member state that commercial transgenic crops (maize) on a large scale [see following article].

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