Anti-GMO Struggle, Portugal


In 2003, an act was approved to allow the cultivation of some genetically modified organisms-GMOs in Portugal.

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Basic Data
NameAnti-GMO Struggle, Portugal
Accuracy of LocationLOW country/state level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Biopiracy and bio-prospection
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Specific CommoditiesCorn/Maize
Genetically Modified Seeds Gm Maize Mon810
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe main variety cultivated is GM maize MON810 (Monsanto) .

– In 2007: 4199 ha of MON 810 out of a total of 116 700 ha of maize 3.6%

– In 2008: 15% increase to 4839 ha
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Populationall the Portuguese citizens
Start Date01/01/1999
Company Names or State EnterprisesMonsanto Corporation (Monsanto Co) from United States of America
Relevant government actorsMinistério da Agricultura, Câmaras Municipais, Associações de Municipios, Direções Regionais de Agricultura, governos regionais
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersMovimento Verde Eufémia

Plataforma Transgênicos Fora

Regional movements (anti GMO and environmental associations in general), small conventional farmers and organic farmers.
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Boycotts of companies-products
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Air pollution, Genetic contamination, Global warming, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Soil erosion
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Potential: Infectious diseases, Malnutrition, Other environmental related diseases
OtherStudies indicate liver and kidney deficiencies and hormonal deregulation resulting of GMO corn consumption.
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Institutional changes
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Development of AlternativesGiving information and to discuss about the implications of production and consumption of GMOs aiming to boycott the non-conscious consumption of GMOs.
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.Even though it is possible to produce and consume GMOs in Portugal, the pressing movements and protests made possible to have a little more control over what happens or at least more transparency (although it´s still a very closed process).
Sources and Materials

regula o cultivo de variedades geneticamente modificadas, visando assegurar a sua coexistência com culturas convencionais e com o modo de produção biológico
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Portaria nº 1611/2007 de 20-12-2007. Regula o estabelecimento e zonas livres de transgênicos em Portugal
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Decreto-Lei n.72/2003 de 10-04, transpôs a Directiva Europeia n. 2001/18/CE relativa à libertação deliberada no ambiente de organismos geneticamente modificados.
[click to view]


VIEIRA, Luís Miguel Teixeira. Dissertação de Mestrado em Cidadania Ambiental E Participação Não-Violência Activa Movimentos Ambientais e a Mobilização Social em Portugal A Não-Violência Activa como Método de Participação Social Ambiental Estudo de Caso–O Caso do Milho Transgénico de Silves. Universidade Aberta, Lisboa, 2011.
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Eurobarometer about perception of GMO by the european citizens
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USDA Foreign Agricultural Service–Grain Report: Global agriculture information network. Portugal: Biotechnology Annual, 8 Abr. 2013
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SILVA, Margarida. Portuguese GMO FREE Coalition. Power Point, 24 Abr. 2009
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PRICE Project (Practical

Implementation of Coexistence in Europe), Portugal
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PONTE, João André Moniz (2014) A Cadeia de Abastecimento da Broa de Milho em Portugal e a Aplicação das Leis de Coexistência, Dissertação de mestrado em Engenharia Agronómica, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa.
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AGÊNCIA LUSA. Activistas destroem um hectare de milho transgénico. Jornal Público, 17 Ago. 2007.
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GMo free regions - Portugal
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News: embaixador norteamericano contesta possivel zona livre de transgenicos nos Açores
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Plataforma Transgénicos Fora
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Media Links

Danger of GMO
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Movimento Verde Eufemia - GMO mowing Action @ Silves, Portugal
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Açores protests
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GMO - how to recognize
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Silves action
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Other Documents

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Other CommentsThe GPS refers to center Portugal as this case refers to the anti-gmo sttrugle all over the country. Silves action GPS 37.195815 -8.440443
Meta Information
ContributorInês Ribeiro, Lays Silva and Lúcia Fernandes
Last update09/03/2015