1.Canary Islands declares the archipelago GMO-free region
2.Madeira Islands have been declared GM-free
3.Tassie markets to go global with GM free
4.More info on Romania GM maize ban
1.Government of Canary Islands declares the archipelago a GMO-free region
The government of the Canary Islands has declared the entire archipelago as a GMO-free region, according to the Council of the Government in a proposal from the Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery and Food, The regional Ministry of Environment and the Territorial Planning and Land Management Registry. The council has also decided to make the Islands part of 'The organisation of GMO-Free Regions'.
Full article in Spanish
Short piece in English
2.The Madeira Islands have been declared as GM-free
17 March 2008, posted by Margarida Silca, Quercus, Portugal http://db.zs-intern.de/uploads/1206694598-MadeiraIslandsGMFree.pdf
The Madeira islands have been officially declared GM-free. It is a first in Portugal that an autonomous region comes out against GMOs with such strong worded language: all GM cultivation is absolutely forbidden. The Madeira government has been investing in organic farming and obviously doesn't want to see the effort go to waste.
3.Tassie markets to go global with GM free
ABC, 19 March 2008 http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/200803/s2193978.htm
A state parliamentary inquiry has heard Tasmania could export canola seed to the world, if the state's ban on genetically modified crops is maintained.
A review is underway this week to determine if Tasmania should extend its ban on GM crops beyond 2008.
Alex Schaap, from the Department of Primary Industries, told the parliamentary inquiry there could be benefits from keeping the ban.
'One of the opportunities for Tasmania, that I hope the industry will explore, is the opportunity to actually develop a GM-free canola seed industry here, where we bulk up seed in a place that's much, much safer from GM contamination than anywhere else in the rest of the world.'
4.Romania considers to ban the GM maize
GMO Informnation Centre, Bucharest, 27th of March 2008
Romania's Ministry for Environment publicly stated its support for the ban on MON810 genetically modified maize, during an organic lunch held at the Romanian Traditional Museum in Bucharest. The event was organized by Greenpeace and Romania's Federation of Organic Farmers (FNAE). Farmers came from all parts of Romania to participate in the event and show their disapproval of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in their products.
At the present time, Romania's Ministry for Environment (ME) is working to make the temporary ban of MON810 Monsanto maize official, with the approval of the Government. ME declared that it is highly important that the Government support this decision. 'As we are at the beginning of the seeding season, I urge the farmers and the companies from the agricultural sector to avoid the cultivation of the GM maize. ME received new scientific studies which raise serious doubts about the safety of MON810 toward human health and the environment. These studies have been used by other EU Member States such as France, Hungary, Austria, Greece, Poland and Italy in order to avoid cultivation of this maize variety, which produces it's own pesticide. The European legislation allows the Member States to take restrictive measures against a GMO. We have significant questions concerning the release of MON810 maize into the environment and in these conditions we cannot be in favor of it's cultivation.' said the Ministry of Environment Attila Korodi.
However, based on declarations made by the same Minister, we cannot consider this latest decision to be final. The Biosafety Commission, a scientific body under the control of Romania's Minister for Environment, will decide some time after 15th of April 2008 whether a moratorium on MON810 will indeed be imposed. At the moment this Commission is not functional because it has no members. Its nomination process has been ongoing since January this year and its activity is suspended until the nominations are made.
On the very same day, Dacian Ciolos, Romania's Minister of Agriculture reassured the public during the News aired by the Romanian TV channel 'Antena3' that the Ministry of Agriculture strongly defends organic farming and consumer's health and therefore, it would not allow, under any legal form, the contamination of this type of agriculture with GMOs. In Romania, the level of GMO contamination in organic agriculture must be 0%, according to national regulation.
'This new official position of the Ministry of the Environment is extremely good news for Romania's organic farmers. Unfortunately, there remain some worrisome aspects which we consider rather pertinent. The GM maize ban will be decided after seeding has taken place. Without any real preventive measures, the MON810 will thus already be cultivated by the time the Biosafety Commission expresses its decision. Unrelated perhaps but still interesting to note, Monsanto's permit for MON810 will expire in August. In the event that they will ask for a renewal of their authorization, will the Minister for Environment have the strength to say 'no'? This is a justified question particularly given that there will be parliamentary elections in Romania later this year; meaning that the head of the Ministry of Environment may very well change', declared Dan Craioveanu, GMO campaigner on behalf of FNAE.For more informations, please contact:
President GMO Information Centre - InfOMG
Fax: +40 364 119 862
Mobile: +40 746 337 022