GMOs in Catalunya, Spain


In spite of the de facto moratoria in other European countries, introduction of GM maize in Spain started in 1998. The available GM varieties have grown from the initial 16 to 61 in 2007. All the current varieties derive from the GM maize event Mon810 modified to be resistant to the corn borer. The rate of farmers adoption and hectares under GM maize cultivation has risen along with this increasing number of registered GM maize varieties, although with a very heterogeneous distribution.

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Basic Data
NameGMOs in Catalunya, Spain
ProvinceLleida, Girona and Tarragona
SiteAlgerri, Mollerussa, Balaguer, Gimenells... (many towns around the province)
Accuracy of LocationLOW country/state level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Specific CommoditiesGenetically Modified Seeds
Gm Maize Mon810
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsMore than 100 varieties derive from the event MON810 (Monsanto) but are sold by other seed companies.
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Population8,000,000
Start Date1998
Company Names or State EnterprisesPioneer - The farmers who plant GMOs are individual people, but the company which sells most of thier seeds is Pioneer which belongs to Dupont.
Dupont from United States of America
Monsanto Corporation (Monsanto Co) from United States of America
Relevant government actorsCatalan Regional government, Departament dAgricultura, Ramaderia, Pesca, Alimentació i Medi Natural, Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente, Consell Català de la Producció Agrària Ecològica
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersPlataforma Transgènics Fora!, Som el que Sembrem, Escola Agrària de Manresa, Naturalistes de Girona, Greenpeace, Amigos de la Tierra, Ecologistes en Acció, Veterinaris sense fronteres, Enginyers sense fronteres
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
People from organic consumer cooperatives
Students of organic farming
Forms of MobilizationMedia based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Boycotts of companies-products
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Street protest/marches
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Genetic contamination
Potential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseInstitutional changes
New legislation
Development of AlternativesBan GMOs.

Ban Patents on life.

Promote small-scall fair organic farming and promote organic consumption schemes.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The surface of GM maize is equal or increasing. Many of the groups opposing are not active any more.
Sources and Materials

de organismos modificados genéticamente:
[click to view]

DIRECTIVA 2001/18/CE sobre liberación intencional en el medio ambiente de organismos modificados genéticamente (OMGs)

1829/2003 del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo de 22 de septiembre de 2003, sobre alimentos y piensos modificados genéticamente

LEY 9/2003, de 25 de abril, por la que se

establece el régimen jurídico de la utilización

confinada, liberación voluntaria y comercia-

lización de organismos modificados genética-

REAL DECRETO 178/2004, de 30 de enero,

por el que se aprueba el Reglamento general

para el desarrollo y ejecución de la

Ley 9/2003, de 25 de abril, por la que se esta-

blece el régimen jurídico de la utilización con-

finada, liberación voluntaria y comercialización

[click to view]

1830/2003 del Parlamento europeo y del Consejo de 22 de septiembre de 2003, relativo a la trazabilidad y al etiquetado de OMGs y a la trazabilidad de los alimentos y piensos producidos a partir de estos, y por el que se modifica la Directiva 2001/18/CEVentana nueva.


Binimelis, R. (2008) Coexistance of crops, coexistance of farmers? in Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics:
[click to view]

Documentary: Tranxgenia: la història del cuc i el panís:
[click to view]

Report by Assemblea Pagesa, Plataforma Transgenics Fora! & Greenpeace. La imposible coexistencia (2005)
[click to view]

Report by Greenpeace. La coexistencia sigue siendo imposible:
[click to view]

Magazine: El pimiento Verde transgénico:
[click to view]


Plataforma transgenics fora website: and
[click to view]

Campaign Supermercats no gràcies:
[click to view]

Ecologistas en acción: Legislation on GMOs:
[click to view]

Som lo que sembrem:
[click to view]

Assemblea per la sobirania alimentària de Catalunya:
[click to view]

Media Links

Map of experimental GM fields in Spain (2012-2013):
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorAmaranta Herrero
Last update16/08/2016