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9-Misc: Greenpeace activists occupied Monsanto Headquarter inBrussels

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TITLE:  Monsanto Wages War on Consumers, Farmers and the Environment
SOURCE: Greenpeace International, Press Release
DATE:   May 22, 2003

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Monsanto Wages War on Consumers, Farmers and the Environment

Brussels, May 22, 2003 - Greenpeace activists today occupied the
Monsanto's European/African Headquarters in Brussels to hold the world's
leading producer of genetically modified (GM) crops responsible of
spreading genetic contamination, and waging a global war on people and
the environment via the World Trade Organisation. The US chemicals giant
Monsanto, responsible of over 90% of GM crops grown in the world, has
aggressively lobbied for no or little regulatory control for its GM
products (1).

"We challenge Monsanto to step out of the shadows from where it is
calling the shots. Monsanto's crops are the major source of genetic
contamination in conventional and organic crops not only in Europe but
also in Brazil, Canada and India. With the WTO case, the US
administration is now openly fighting for Monsanto's interest and
defending the GMO industry, which is facing market rejection in several
continents," said Eric Gall, GMO Policy Advisor for the Greenpeace
European Unit.

The EU agriculture ministers are set to meet in Brussels next week to
discuss genetic contamination on conventional and organic crops, the so-
called "co- existence" issue. The current proposal from the European
Commission fails to protect both the environment and the interests of
non-GM farmers and consumers. The EU commission proposal is at odds with
both the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle (2).

"The current European Commission co-existence proposal is utterly
unacceptable. It must be the GMO producers such as Monsanto - not organic
and conventional farmers or the European taxpayers - that should bear the
economic burden of genetic pollution and measures required to prevent it."

For four years now, the EU member states have blocked the approval of all
new GMOs until a complete and coherent legislation is in place. Whilst
rules on labelling and traceability are expected to be in place by the
end of this year - enabling consumers and farmers to identify GMOs in
food and animal feed - the European Commission still refuses to introduce
rules ensuring strict liability for costs associated with genetic
contamination. The rules are needed to try to prevent genetic
contamination in case GM crops are grown in Europe and to ensure that
non-GMO farmers will not bear the costs of avoiding contamination, which
is virtually unavoidable if GMOs are grown outdoors.

"We urge the EU governments to adequately address the regulatory
loopholes that would allow companies like Monsanto to contaminate
European agriculture and stand firm against the pressure of the USA and
the GE industry. The survival of uncontaminated conventional and organic
farming in Europe is at stake," said Gall.

For more information:
Eric Gall, Greenpeace European Unit, Tel: +3222741906 or Mob: +336 08 75 50 13
Karen Simal, Mob: +32 496 12 21 00
Greenpeace International Press Office, Teresa Merileinen, Tel: +31 20 5236637.

Photos of the action available from Greenpeace International
Photo Desk, John Novis, Mob: +31653819121

Notes to the Editor:
1) Monsanto 2002 annual report, p. 31: "We also continue to address
concerns about the adventitious or unintended trace presence of
biotechnology materials in seeds, grain and food [genetic contamination].
We expect these types of issues to continue. We are addressing the issue
of adventitious presence...... by continuing globally to seek regulations
that recognise and accept the adventitious presence of commercial
biotechnology traits and provide for approval and acceptance of trace
amounts of pre- commercial traits."

2) See March 3 press release for a critique of the European Commission's
co-existence proposal available on