The European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) is dismayed by the decision yesterday of the European Commission to authorize the BASF AmFlora Potato in spite the opposition of the large majority of farmers and civil society in Europe. This is a clear attempt by the EU commission to force the agenda of genetech industries.
“It is unacceptable that the EU Commission is allowed to “push” through such controversial products such as GMOs” said Josie Riffaud of the Coordinating Committee of ECVC. “Such activity threatens democratic process and transparency and lends credence to the assessment that EU policies are driven by corporate as opposed to citizen interests – threatening the faith of citizens in the EU” she added.
The introduction of the BASF Potato will inevitably lead to contamination of other potato crops as well as potentially soil bacteria and other species – threatening Europe’s already disappearing Biodiversity. In this case, the presence of a gene resistant to antibiotics poses a real danger to public health. It is important to preserve medications avoiding the creation of resistant bacteria due to the spreading of the gene.
It is useless to introduce foreign genes in a potato since traditional selection is largely sufficient for equivalent results. In Germany, a project executed by Europlant has allowed the development of a potato with the same interest as the authorised GM, being a high value in amylopectin and this with conventional selection methods.
This GM potato represents a specifically industrial purpose and will be cultivated exclusively on an industrial scale by farmers contracted by the starch industry – the opposite of the model of sustainable family farming the EU needs.
GM crops represent the last step in reducing the role of farmers from independent food producers to simple labour for industry, ignoring the value of traditional knowledge, the role of farmers in biodiversity and environmental protection and locking farmers into a system based on GM seeds, fertilisers, agrochemical and energy inputs entirely dependent on and controlled by transnational corporations.
- The European Coordination Via Campesina together with COAG, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and CECU (consumer organisation) will hold an event in the European Parliament in Brussels on the “Social and Economic Impacts of GM Agriculture” on the 24 th March between 10-11am.
- The Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y Ganaderos (COAG), major farmer organisation in Spain and a member of ECVC, together with the other members of Plataforma Rural and Greenpeace will be holding a European Mobilization on the 17th of April in Madrid against GMOS. The 17th of April is the International Day of Peasant Struggles
Josie Riffaud (FR/EN) +33 613105291
Pierre -Andre Tombez (FR) +41 796345487
Andoni Garcia (ES) +34 63 6451569