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9-Misc: Greece stands up to Commission with new GMO ban



                                 PART I
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TITLE:  Greece stands up to Commission with new GMO ban
SOURCE: Greenpeace European Unit & Greece
DATE:   30 Jan 2006

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Greece stands up to Commission with new GMO ban


Greenpeace has applauded the Greek government's decision today to enact a new
ban on genetically modified (GM) maize cultivation. The European Commission
ordered it to lift an earlier ban on 10 January.

The new ban applies to the same varieties of Monsanto's MON810 maize as the
first ban, plus 14 new varieties that the Commission added to the EU seed
catalogue secretly, on 30 December, without informing the public.

"Greenpeace salutes the decision of the Greek government to remain firm
in its will
to protect Greece's environment and agriculture, and condemns the EU
Commission for its lack of transparency on GMO decisions. The Commission
should follow the Greek lesson of democracy and stop doing the dirty job
of the US
and the biotech industry."

There are now 12 national bans in seven member states against GMOs authorised
at EU level. The bans concern mainly the cultivation of GM maize and
rape seed.

Greenpeace argues that the risks of GM maize MON810 have never been properly
evaluated, and criticises the Commission for repeatedly attempting to
cover up the
decisions it makes regarding GMOs, which it unfailingly seeks to promote
despite
strong opposition among the EU public.


Contacts:

Eric Gall, Greenpeace European Unit, GMO policy adviser, tel 0496 161 582
Myrto Pispini, Greenpeace Greece, GMO campaigner, tel +30 6979 443304
Katharine Mill, Greenpeace European Unit, media officer, tel +32 496 156 229


Note:

The Greek government today lifted its first ban on 17 varieties of
MON810, which
the Commission ordered it to lift. At the same time, it enacted a new
ban, covering
the same 17 varieties that were placed on the EU seed catalogue in September
2004, and 14 new varieties that were added on 30 December 2005. The ban has
been imposed for reasons including environmental protection.


                                 PART II
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  GM corn deadline next week
SOURCE: Kathimerini, Greece
        http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/
_w_articles_politics_100012_28/01/2006_65722
DATE:   28 Jan 20006

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GM corn deadline next week

Greece has until Tuesday to decide whether it will lift a ban on a
genetically modified corn seed developed by US biotech company Monsanto
that the European Commission has instructed the country to accept. In
November, Brussels said that Greece's ban on MON810 seed types was not
warranted on health or safety grounds following its approval for sale
throughout the EU. A government source said that the Agriculture
Ministry will not refer the issue to the European Court but will try to
settle it through other legal channels. No further details were given.
The government will be careful in its handling of the issue after
gaining political points for taking a stance that appeared to protect
consumer's health. Meanwhile, consumer groups INKA and EKPOIZO joined
forces with environmentalists Greenpeace and farmers group GESASE
yesterday calling for a continuation of the ban. The government should
take the initiative and maintain its stance against the corn, they said
in a joint statement.

--


GENET
European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

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