Wednesday, 14 April 2010

15 organisations and l-Ikel network against GM produce

The following is a Press Statement which Greenhouse endorsed as part of a joint letter campaign addressed to the Commissioner John Dalli over his approval of the GM potato Amflora to enter EU markets.

Health Commissioner Dalli, under the new Barroso Commission has recently (March 2nd, 2010) authorised the cultivation of a genetically modified (GM) crop in the EU for the first time since 1998. The European Commission has given the green light for the cultivation of GM potato Amflora, developed by the German chemical firm BASF, for processing into industrial starch. Only a day after this controversial decision (March 3rd, 2010), the European Commission also authorised the use of three GM maize products for food and feed, along with the growth of the Amflora GM potato for industrial use and feed.

The danger of these GMO's is that their altered genes may be incorporated in the genetic makeup of non-GMOs by mixing and there is no way of being sure that this does not happen. This mixing has been happening around the world and in fact about 6,000 rice producers have filed claims against Bayer since the US Department of Agriculture announced, back in August 2006, that trace amounts of genetically modified rice were found in the US long-grain rice stocks. Once GMOs start being cultivated there is no way of going back – it is very risky with astronomical adverse consequences.

One of these consequences is the possibility of the antibiotic resistant gene present in the Amflora potatoes entering our food chain. When we’re battling some of the most resistant pathogenic strains around, the last thing required is the threat of an antibiotic resistant gene to complicate matters. We implore you ask this question to yourself; ' Is the enhanced starch production that the Amflora potato is designed to produce worth risking the health and wellbeing of all the EU citizens?'

Evidently the majority of Europeans have asked themselves this same question because 70% of them are against the cultivation of these organisms, and many countries, including Malta, already stated that they are also against the cultivation of GMOs.

We only ask the European Commission to uphold democracy and to safeguard the interests of all European citizens and revoke the decision taken. The well-being of the people you represent should take precedence over the interest of chemical corporations.

An email action can be pursued by everyone who disagrees with the introduction GMO produce in Malta via the Friend of the Earth Malta Cyber Action link

This press release has been endorsed by the following networks and organisations:

Alternattiva Demokratika Zghazagh - Green Youth, Ager Foundation, Centre for Environmental Education and Research, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Food First Malta, Friends of the Earth, Moviment Graffiti, Greenhouse, Koperattiva Rurali Manikata, Malta Organic Agriculture Movement, Nature Trust Malta, Permaculture Research Foundation, Slow Food Malta, Youth Alive Foundation, Zminijietna – Voice of the Left and Kieku L-ikel Jitkellem Network.

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