The fight against “Los Transgenicos” aka Genetically Modified (GM) food and crops continues in Spain. This is the fourth year that the civil society is dedicating a week of activities in April (this year the 15th – 22nd) against GMOs and for food sovereignty.
This particular week was chosen for a sad reason. 17th of April is the International Day of Peasant’s Struggle commemorating the 1996 massacre of 19 landless farmers in Brazil demanding access to land and justice. This year more than 250 manifestations and actions were organised around the globe to support the rights of small farmers.
In Spain, there were numerous actions around the whole country, launched with an action in front of the Ministry of Agriculture. Although public rejection has kept away the GMO crops from most of the EU fields (0,1% of the total cultivated area), Spain accounts for the 84% of the GM crops in Europe.
Spanish NGOs stated that their country has suffered for years through the implementation of policies that promote an agricultural model with serious social and environmental impacts. According to the call for action, the national, European and international policies have allowed Spain to:
– promote an agro-industrial model while 124, 000 jobs have been lost in the field between 2003 and 2008
– promote GMOs: the Spanish state is the only EU country that grows GM on a large scale, and allow almost half of the outdoor field trials in Europe
– The hoarding of food distribution by a few companies.
According to Plataforma Rural, “We have suffered from a serious crisis of democracy as shown by the structural adjustment policies, the cuts in social spending, the attack on public services and law enforcement measures to citizenship. Rural areas have suffered particularly from the crisis and cuts. The budget for agriculture has declined by 60% over the last four years.”
“We want food and agriculture free from GMOs, a CAP that supports family farms and promotes a rural life countryside, and national, European and international policy that prevents land grabbing.”