>2 GM Maize trials trashed in Catalonia, Spain

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Today, 12th July 2010, dozens of people came together to sabotage two experimental GM Maize trials belonging to Syngenta, located in the municipality of Torroella de Montgrí (Baix Empordà, Girona, Catalunya).

We destroyed Syngenta’s open-air genetic experiment because we understand that this kind of direct action is the best way to respond to the fait accompli policy through which the Generalitat, the State and the bio-tech multinationals have been unilaterally imposing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our agriculture and our food.

The Spanish State, with more than 75,000 hectares sown in 2009, represents a concentration of approximately 80% of the surface area of GMOs harvested in Europe. After Aragon, Catalonia is the area of Europe that harvests the largest area of GMOs, around 27,000 hectares. In recent years, 42% of the experimental GMO field trials in the EU have been planted in the Spanish State.

Syngenta are the third largest seed corporation in the world (after Monsanto and Dupont). Their objective is to gain a monopoly domination of the global seed market so that all farmers and all agricultural production on the planet depends on their seed sales. Syngenta, and other transnational corporations (TNCs) that control a) the global market in agricultural goods (seeds, fertilizers, agro-chemicals…) , b) the circuits for the distribution and commercialization of food and agricultural raw materials, and c) the global market in final products, is one of the principal promoters and beneficiaries of the corporate industrial model that currently dominates. After having been imposed for decades on a planetary scale, more and more voices indicate that 1) this devastating social and productive model is one of the principal causes of the food, ecological and climate crises that humanity currently faces, and 2) genetically modified crops represent a new turn of the screw of the agro-industrial model, which does nothing more than deepen the devastating social, cultural and environmental impacts associated with transnational agro-business.

According to European legislation, experimental GMO field trials represent an indispensable intermediate step in gaining EEC approval to grow and harvest as yet unauthorized varieties of genetically modified crops in the EU. Many groups in Europe have for years condemned the protocol that the bio-tech transnationals must follow to gain approval for their genetically modified seeds, as being full of irregularities and pit falls. Among these, the most notable are the various scandals that have hit the European food security Agency, (EFSA) which have made it quite clear that this supposedly scientific body is in the pay of the genetics industry. On the other hand, it is important to uncover the role of the EEC itself in the underhand promotion of GM crops by the EEC itself.

Twelve years since GM maize crops were first planted in Catalonia, the appearance of dozens of cases of genetic contamination of organic and conventional agricultural products (contamination of seed batches, fields, animal feeds and products destined for human consumption) has repeatedly demonstrated that the supposed coexistence between GM and non-GM crops is totally impossible and undesirable. The proliferation of genetically modified agriculture in our territory has led to the extinction of a number of varieties of traditional wheat (“morat” and “del queixal”) and a reduction of 95% in the cultivation of organic maize between 2002 and 2008.

All this leads unequivocally to the conclusion that GM agriculture makes it impossible to develop and consolidate social models and models of production, distribution and consumption that differ from the dominant model, based on agro-ecology and the struggle for peoples’ food sovereignty. Because of this, we fundamentally reject both GM crops and the techno-industrial capitalist society that makes them possible and necessary (… necessary to ensure that the powerful few consolidate their domination of the global population, and perfect the business strategies). We therefore call for people to take the step to action to destroy their genetically modified crops and the social order perpetuated by those that promote them.

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