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Greenpeace quarantines Braila Island in Romania, to prevent spread of illegal GMO Soya contamination


Romania — Greenpeace activists today put Braila island, on the Danube, under quarantine, after Greenpeace field investigations revealed that illegal Genetically Modified (GMO) Soya, is being grown and harvested there. It is illegal for EU member states, including Romania, to cultivate GMO Soya.Greenpeace calls on the Romanian government and the European Commission to act immediately to locate and destroy all of the illegally cultivated GMO Soya.

The peaceful action in Romania, began at 8 am, this morning. 30 Greenpeace activists from across Europe [1], took control of the ferry harbour area on the Braila. The volunteers have set up a ‘decontamination station’ for all vehicles leaving the island, to prevent genetic contamination from spreading.

Any vehicle found transporting GMO crops from the island will be handed over to the Romanian authorities. Greenpeace climbers have also hung a 20 metre banner with the message “Stop GMO.”

“We have taken action to protect the rest of Romania from contamination by these illegal GMO crops, which pose massive risks to the environment, biodiversity and human heath. Romanian people have overwhelmingly rejected GMOs [2]. This is not the first time Greenpeace has discovered illegal GMO production in Romania[3], the situation is out of control.

The Government must immediately locate and destroy all of the crops before they enter the food chain,” said Gabriel Paun, Greenpeace Romania, GM campaigner.

Greenpeace is also alarmed by the news that elsewhere in Romania a variety of GMO maize (Monsanto MON810) is being grown across 332 hectares of fields [4]. MON810 is authorised within the EU, but its cultivation in Romania violates national laws, as the company responsible, Monsanto, failed to notify the relevant authorities of their intention to grow it.

Greenpeace activists in France have also taken action today. 20 volunteers are painting a field of illegally grown MON810 bright red, in order to expose its location. The GMO maize is being illegally grown, as either the farmer, or the French government have not declared it.

“By failing to take control, the Romanian and French governments are allowing biotech companies such as Monsanto, to run riot over their environment and ignore the wishes of European people; contaminating their food and their fields” said Myrto Pispini, Greenpeace International GMO campaigner.

“Thankfully the vast majority of European agriculture remains GMO free. But GMOs are grown in some smaller areas; all too often in violation of both EU and national laws.”

Greenpeace calls on the European commission as well as the Romanian and French governments and all other member states to:

Immediately decontaminate the environment and the food chain from any GM organisms that have been released into the environment, and ensure that proper measures are taken to avoid contamination scandals in the future.

Protect and promote agriculture and food production from the threat of GMOs by banning the import and cultivation of all GMO crops, in particular of Monsanto’s GM maize MON810.


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