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GMOs in Catalunya, Spain


Description

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.

Data from the Ministry of Agriculture, extrapolated from the seed companies sales, report 75,000 ha of GM maize in 2007, 14.5% of the total grain maize area in Spain.

Catalunya is one of the Spanish areas with the highest concentration of GM maize adoption, 42% (in 2006). Maize production and the fabrication of feed and fodder are key agricultural activities, mainly related to the meat industry. The average size of farm lands is small and fragmented (5,45 ha in Catalunya).

The introduction of the GM crops has put the issue of GM and non-GM crops coexistence on the table. Up to four preliminary documents on the implementation of coexistence have been released by the Spanish administrations since 2004. However, they have been highly contested by agrarian and environmental organizations. No agreement has been reached so far. Instead, some guidelines on good practices for cultivating GM maize have been promoted by the seed producers association.

Besides, from 2003 there have been made public several cases of GM contamination in animal feed and GM crops.

For many years, a myriad of social agents, including farmers, consumers and environmental groups have been opposing the introduction of GM crops in Catalunya, especially during the period 2003-2008.

Basic Data

NameGMOs in Catalunya, Spain
CountrySpain
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)
GMOs
Specific CommoditiesGenetically Modified Seeds
Gm Maize Mon810
Corn/Maize

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
Beekeepers
Forms of MobilizationCommunity-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Sabotage
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Boycotts of companies-products

Impacts

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

Outcome

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

Legislations

de organismos modificados genéticamente:
http://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2004/01/31/pdfs/A04171-04216.pdf

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

mente:
http://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2003/04/26/pdfs/A16214-16223.pdf

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.

References

Binimelis, R. (2008) Coexistance of crops, coexistance of farmers? in Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics:
http://exuyum.nw.eenet.ee/gmo/images/stories/research/binimelis___coexistence.pdf

Documentary: Tranxgenia: la història del cuc i el panís:
http://vimeo.com/5017506

Report by Assemblea Pagesa, Plataforma Transgenics Fora! & Greenpeace. La imposible coexistencia (2005)
http://www.greenpeace.org/espana/Global/espana/report/other/resumen-del-informe-la-imposi.pdf

Report by Greenpeace. La coexistencia sigue siendo imposible:
http://www.greenpeace.org/espana/Global/espana/report/transgenicos/la-coexistencia-sigue-siendo-i.pdf

Magazine: El pimiento Verde transgénico:
http://transgenicsfora.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/pimiento-verde-transgenico/

Links

Plataforma transgenics fora website: and http://www.transgenicsfora.org/
http://transgenicsfora.wordpress.com/

Campaign Supermercats no gràcies:
http://supermercatsnogracies.wordpress.com/tag/transgenics/

Ecologistas en acción: Legislation on GMOs:
https://www.ecologistasenaccion.org/article3178.html

Som lo que sembrem:
http://www.somloquesembrem.org/

Assemblea per la sobirania alimentària de Catalunya:
http://asapcatalunya.wordpress.com/tag/transgenics/

Media Links

Map of experimental GM fields in Spain (2012-2013):
https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zqGOJ-nJlwiU.kqomQHBPB-f4

Meta Information

ContributorAmaranta Herrero
Last update16/08/2016