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article imageOp-Ed: Maps released of GMO crop experiments in Spain

By Anne Sewell     Sep 6, 2012 in Food
Maps have been released, showing various locations in Spain, where permission was requested in 2010 and 2011 to experiment with genetically modified crops.
While there is no proof that these experiments have gone ahead, it is worthwhile noting the locations and the crops to be grown. Crops in the 2010 experiment map include corn, cotton, potatoes and beetroot.
Spain continues to cultivate 76,000 hectares of MON 810 transgenic maize (corn) on a commercial basis, with no knowledge available currently of the locations of this cultivation. Probably safest to say that any locally grown corn should be boycotted.
It is important to note that, while the world imagines that Europe, and Spain particularly, labels all GMO products, this is not the case.
The map can be viewed here. By clicking on the blue tags, you can see the location, company and GMO crop to be cultivated.
2010 map showing locations of requested GMO experiments in Spain.
2010 map showing locations of requested GMO experiments in Spain.
Screen capture
This information was supplied by the organization, Amigos de la Tierra (Friends of the Earth).
Again it must be stressed that the map of the locations does not indicate that research is actually being carried out there, but we can rest assured that in some of these locations, it is actually happening.
The information was released by a judgment of the European Court of Justice, forcing the government to release the information. This was of special importance to farmers, particularly those growing organic crops, who could be affected if their farms are in close proximity to the test areas.
The main communities in which the experiments were to take place are Zaragoza, Sevilla, Lleida, Albacete, Málaga, Navarra, Salamanca, Burgos, Valladolid, Toledo, León, Zamora, Ciudad Real, Cordoba, Huesca, Palencia, Badajoz and Castellón.
The companies involved are Monsanto, Limagrain Ibérica, Pioneer, Sesvanderhave, CSIC, Bayer, KWS seeds Iberian, Public University of Navarra, Institute of Agro-Biotechnology and Transactiva SRL.
A .pdf giving details can be viewed here (Spanish language).
In relation to corn, it should be noted that the cultivation of transgenic corn in Spain was reduced last year by 11,543 hectares in comparison with the surface that was cultivated in 2008. In fact, each year the number of hectares has been reduced, a trend that will hopefully continue this year.
A map showing the locations of GMO experiments applied for in Spain in 2011 can be viewed here. Again, by clicking on the blue tags, it is possible to see the location, company and crop.
2011 map showing locations of requested GMO experiments in Spain.
2011 map showing locations of requested GMO experiments in Spain.
Screen capture
This map shows locations for experiments with glyphosate resistant corn, NK603, a genetically modified potato, resistant to thermal stress, various transgenic varieties of beets, transgenic rice to produce human enzymes and many other varieties including cotton, tobacco etc. However, the majority of trials are on corn and sugar beet (beetroot).
It is possible that the Ministry of the Environment in Spain does not look favorably on the publication of this data, however it is obliged to give this information according to an EU policy.
Hiding this information would only serve to highlight the perception that the population has with regard to genetically modified food.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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