15,000 people have meet this weekend in Madrid under the slogan “For a food and GMO-free agriculture." Farmers, environmentalists and consumers around the country have toured the city to demand the Government to follow the footsteps of countries like France, Germany or Austria, and ban the cultivation of GM maize in Spain.
Spain is the only EU country that grows GM a large scale. Last year, 76,000 hectares were planted with genetically modified maize in Mexico. This culture is carried out under an absolute lack of transparency and control, with numerous cases of contamination of crops and foods. The government ignores the environmental, social and health problem that have led other countries to prohibit.
According to a note by Greenpeace, we are in the semester of Spanish EU Presidency and the Government has an added responsibility to drive another model of food and agriculture. However, when the European Commission approved a few weeks ago the cultivation of a transgenic potato, Spain was one of the few countries that supported this decision.
The demonstration is the central act of a week of activities against GMOs, with dozens of demonstrations, lectures and information activities for the entire state. The convening organizations consider that this mobilization is a clear demand to the Government to act in defense of the environment, agriculture and consumer rights, and prohibit the cultivation of GM crops in the entire Spanish territory.
The demonstration was presented by Rural Platform (Friends of the Earth, Spanish Caritas, Action Solidarity Collective, Confederation of Consumers and Users (CECU) CERAI, CIC BATA, CIFA, Coordinator of Organizations of Farmers and Cattlemen (COAG), Collective Tierra de Campos, Ecologists in Action, Entrepueblos, Emmaus Foundation, Christian Rural Youth, Rural Movement Christian, Mundubat, Red Africa Europe, Spanish Society of Organic Agriculture (SEAE), SOC, SODEPAZ, Paulo Freire Rural University, Veterinarians Without Borders, Xarxa Consum Solidari, ACSUD The Segovias País Valencià) and Greenpeace, with the support of CCOO, the Spanish Confederation of Mothers and Fathers of Students (APEC) and the Youth Council of Spain, among many other organizations.
What is Rural Platform?
Rural Platform is a network of environmental organizations, consumers, farmers, NGOs, Christian base ... among others, working in Spain to promote the principles of food sovereignty.
Rural platform is linked internationally with La Via Campesina. Every two years the meeting place called the Forum for Rural Living in a World sets out the framework for action lines of the platform. The 4th Forum for a living countryside took place at the Escorial, in the 5th and 6th in Amayuelas Andorra (Teruel).
The 6th Forum brought together some 250 activists from different sources. Among its objectives was to encourage debate between the movements in favor of food sovereignty and discuss proposals and future actions. From the author and activist Esther Vivas Forum: "allowed to move towards greater joint working networks in the reporting of large areas, biofuels, GMOs, poor agricultural policies, tourism and real estate speculation and betting for an alternative trade, peasant agriculture, public services and quality in the field, among others.. "