Mallorca passed a motion declaring that it is GMO-free. The full Council added the island of Mallorca to the Spanish regions declared free of GMOs, in particular the island of Menorca, and 172 European regions, that in one way or another, restrict or prohibit the presence of GMOs in their territory.
Past year, the Friends of the Earth has been leading the Platform for Mallorca Free of Transgenics, comprising 11 civic organizations. The work done by the Platform has been crucial to the Council of this step.
According to Sandy Hemingway, president of Friends of the Earth and coordinator of the local group in Majorca, "the statement Mallorca GMO-free is an important step to curbing these crops on the island and to secure the future of agriculture. It is time to renew our call for the Balearic Islands to be declared free of GMOs. "
Consell de Mallorca believes that this decision is fully justified both in the European and national level. The EU currently allows the cultivation of genetically modified corn that could soon give its approval to the planting of other genetically modified organisms. Precisely in these days, it is discussing the approval of a transgenic potato for commercial cultivation, which would mean a serious risk of contamination of non-transgenic potatoes, as is happening with the corn.
With regard to Spain, it is the only EU country to allow the use of GM varieties on a large scale, when other surrounding countries opt for national bans on such seeds.
Environmentalists believe that the conditions under which they are growing GM corn in the country are appalling: everyday pollution of crops and conventional and organic foods, lack of information and transparency, especially for farmers and consumers; total disinterest by the public authorities in detecting and preventing the negative effects of these crops, including impacts on soil, biodiversity and human health, and fragrant breach of European regulations on labeling.
In this sense, the only way for the regions or municipalities to preserve its agriculture and environment from the risks of these crops is declaring GM-free zone.