GENTECH archive 8.96-97
Greenpeace GMO Campaign Report
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
- Subject: Greenpeace GMO Campaign Report
- From: Purefood@aol.com
- Date: Fri, 14 Mar 1997 09:23:47 -0500 (EST)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Reclaim The Streets)
Date: 97-03-13 21:34:29 EST
>Date: Thu, 13 Mar 1997 15:33:39 +0000
>From: Jim.Thomas@uk.greenpeace.org (Jim Thomas)
>Subject: Greenpeace international genetics..
> For those who are interested heres a summary of how the Greenpeace
> campaign against Genetic Engineering has been going in Europe and
>Soybeans have been a major focus of the campaign as they are the
>first of a mass Genetically Engineered (GE) food crop to go into
>widespread production. Last year only 1-2% of the US crop was
>geneetically engineered; next year it will be 10-12%. Both Canada
>and Brazil remain GE-free at present.
>The first part of the campaign has been a largely consumer campaign
>and it is clear that we have struck the right note with them. The
>fact that their food (and a large amount of food varieties) could be
>contaminated by genetic engineering has been the trigger for the
>swift consumer response and subsequent campaign successes.
>The campaign has used maize as a tactic to carry out a political
>strategy in the EU, where the successes are continuing. By the end
>of this year we hope to have completely GMO (genetically
>modified organisms) free countries such as Sweden, Austria,
>Switzerland and Luxembourg.
>2. SEGREGATION OF SOYBEANS
>Greenpeace has created a market force in Europe for natural (non-GE)
>commodity crops (soya and maize) that has also had an impact on
>demand in other western countries such as Japan and Australa
>We We have split the food processing industry and the US grain
>companies on the issue of segragation. The challenge is to make the
>natural crops the main aim of
> the market and not marginalised which is the revised strategy of the
> genetic engineering industry.
>3. SPLITTING THE EU
>On the import of genetically engineered maize to the EU, both Austria
>and Luxembourg have invoked the controversial Article 16 (of the EU
>GMO directive 90/220) to ban the maize, going against a central
>European Commission decicision. This has been a landmark victory for
>Greenpeace and other campaigning groups and has created enormous
>interest in Brussels as countries now debate issues such as the
>Commission's power versu national democracy. Denmark will decide in
>March whether to do the same -- and it now looks positive.
>We have effectively cut off 70% of the market for growing of the GE
>maize in Europe - only Spain remains. Last week, Italy invoked
>Article 16, banning the growing of the maize. France, the original
>country proposing to bring the GE maize into the whole of the EU,
>has now used its national plant variety legislation to ban its
>growing. This complete U-turn was the direct result of Green ace's
>No other GE crop is yet commercially grown in Europe. The maize
>issue is being used by Greenpeace to create a precedent for other GMO
>crops coming in to the EU
>For weeks in late 1996 the Greenpeace campaign had the GE maize in
>storage facilities in the EU unable to be used or transported. It
>was not allowed to be used for human consumption or animal feed until
>EU approval on December 18.
> GE campaign
>4. NATIONAL AND EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT INITIATIVES
>* Switzerland - GE soya is still banned for human consumption.
>* Denmark, Netherlands reinforced labelling laws over GE instead of
>abandoning them which was in the pipeline for Denmark.
>* Netherlands - Parliamentary resolution approved last which
>demands segregation of natural and all GE crops.
>* Spain - the national parliament has passed a resolution requesting
>the GE maize is not marketed in Europe.
>* European Parliament - resolution passed with an overwhelming
>majority (almost unanimous) a resolution calling on member
>states and the Commission to ensure segregation on GE soya
>* Pending European Parliament resolution calling for the withdrawal
>of the Commission's approval of GE maize
>* The European Parliament has passed a resolution putting the
>European Commission on notice concerning their food and
>agriculture policies. If they don't comply, all 20 commissioners
>face sacking. This is in part the BSE scandal and in part the
>opposition to GE foods.
> * Austria will hold a public referendum 7-14 April on whether to
>ban GMO releases.
> * Trade representatives from Argentina and Brazil state they, who
>are not yet growing commercial GE crops, favour segregation of
>soya crops. The US does not.
>5. TRADE/MARKET INITIATIVES/VICTORIES
>* An Austrian broker, in cooperation with Greenpeace, has guaranteed
>1,000,000 tonnes of GE free soya for a 5-year period, to be sold
>around Europe. Food processors in Sweden, Austria, Switzerlan
>and Germany are now being directed to the broker by Greenpeace. This
>effectively guarantees segregation of the Brazilian soya crop. One
>company withdrew its application for approval for a GE potat
>to be grown there.
>* Greenpeace is challenging Monsanto's patent for Roundup Ready
>soybean seeds, lodged with the European Patent Office (EPO). We are
>likely to win by the end of 1997, as the only other challenge t
>patenting of plants was won by Greenpeace on appeal and therefore now
>sets EPO precedent.
>* American Corn Growers Association has passed a resolution calling
>for segregation of GE Maize.
>* At the time of writing we are informed through our own research
>and that of the food processing sector that the US grain companies
>are anticipating having to prepare to segregate crops. They wi
> to maintain control of the premium rates and the segregation
>methods - thus trying to restrict the market forces in Europe.
>6. FOOD PROCESSORS/RETAILERS
>* Kraft Jacobs Suchard (European HQ Belgium), the fourth largest
>food producer in Europe has, for the moment, banned the use of
>all genetic engineered products in their food.
>* Unilever International (headquartered in the UK and the
>Netherlands), Europe's second largest food producer, is revising
>its policy on the use of all GMO's. All products to be labelled.
>* Danone: (headquartered France) Europe's third largest food
>producer has stated that it favours segregation of crops but is
>not actively pursuing this.
> * Nestle: Europe's largest food producer (HQ Switzerland) do not
>internationally favour segregation of natural and GE crops but
>do so in Austria, Germany and most likely Sweden.
>NB: All other top 10 food producers worldwide are US-based.
>The following supermarkets, retailers and national food processors
>favour segregation of soy or all GE crops (this is NOT a complete
>list but a selection)
>- Eurocommerce (represents one third of the EU food wholesalers and
>- French Federation of Commerce and Distribution (FCD)- 50
>food processors in Germany- Ferrero (largest Italian chocolate
>producer)- Dutch baby food producer Nutricia/Milupa; Dr Oetker
>cooking supplier, Redband/Venco confectionary
>- Almost 70% of the Norwegian food retailers and wholesalers
>- Sweden's two biggest retail chains ICA and KF (70% of the Swedish
> - Sweden's largest farmers organisation
>- Federation of Swedish Food Industry (representing the country's
>largest food suppliers)
>- Switzerland's Migros and Coop Schweiz, who control 43% of the food
>- Farmers, producers and consumers have joined Greenpeace in 3 legal
>challenges in Switzerland.
>- The UK's Iceland supermarket chain, Coop and Pret a Manger chains
>- the UK's Tesco and Safeway supermarket chains
>- Luxembourg's three biggest supermarket chains
>* Apart from the above industry calls, there have been public
>statements by key farmers organisations around Europe, top chef
>networks, such as Eurotorques, the union movement, consumer groups
>other NGO's. Greenpeace's work has served to launch and set up a
>high profile campaign which has built the groundswell of opposition
>to be joined by other and activist networks.
>7. OTHER NOTES OF INTEREST
>* In the USA, Greenpeace has set up coalitions with groups such as
>the US Family Farmers Coalition, whose Vice-President is currently
>touring Europe talking to farmers about corporate control.
>* GPI has also set up an activist network into Eastern Europe where
>there are many activist groups working on the issue. This way, we
>feed them ideas of actions, information on legislation and the
>issue generally, while they themselves do the campaigning.
>GE Campaign, Amsterdam, March 1997
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