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Countries & Regions With GE Food/Crop Bans

From GENET, the European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering
(genetnl@xs4all.be):

Dear friends,

With its new GE free Newsletter GENET will inform about the
wordwide increasing activities of citizen groups that call for GE
free zones and try to convince their municipalities, governments
or private companies to ensure a GE free status of a distinct
region or certain commodities. The aim of this grassroot movement
is not to work as an isolated group but to establish a worldwide
network of like-minded organizations and to steadily increase and
connect GE free zones.

Below you will find a short summary on different regions which have
declared to be GE free by banning some or all GE crops from their
territory. This list is by far not complete nor can we provide all
respective official documents related to GE free zones. If you know
more GE free zones, have relevant articles or even can supply us with
copies of official documents, do not hesitate to contact GENET at
genetnl@xs4all.be.

Yours,
Hartmut Meyer

EU AND ITS MEMBER STATES

The recently adopted revised EU regulation 90/220 on deliberate
release does not contain direct provisions to enable Member States
to declare GE free zones. A respective amendment introduced by
the Parliament to give national authorities the unqualified power to
take action to protect environmentally sensitive areas was lost. The
safeguard clause on health and environmental protection derived from
the EU Treaty, known in the existing 90/220 as Article 16, still exists
as a mechanism for national protection but is intended to be only a
short-term measure pending arbitration at EU level. In practice this
Article has been invoked so far by six member states without any
enforcement measures being taken by the Commission to repeal the
bans.

Italy: The four regions Tuscany, Molise, Lazio and Marche and
around 25 provinces, cities and communes banned GE crops,
including Rome, Milan, Turin, Brescia and Genoa. These are all
democratically-taken decisions in local or regional councils and
in the case of Tuscany, the result has been ratified by the national
government - the decision means that regional governments have
been given the authority under Italian law to overturn decisions
taken at EU level.

Austria: Bans on three GE maize (Novartis, Monsanto and AgrEvo),
the Federal Institute for Less-Favoured and Mountainous Areas is
pressing for GM free legislation and published a study on GE-free
zones, initiatives in the States of Vorarlberg and Salzburg to ban GE
trials.

France: ban of PGS and AgrEvo HR rapeseed

Germany: Ban of Novartis Bt maize. The initiative "No GE on
communal land" of BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany) launched
activities in several German communities to discuss and vote on the
GE-free resolutions. Application are launched in: Bad Vilbel,
Blauenstein, Lahr, Konstanz, Hannover, Hamburg. Application are
accepted in: M¸nchen, Reutlingen, Freidrichsdorf, Blomberg, Seligenstadt,
Niddatal, Maintal, Riedstadt, Adendorf, Schwebheim, Pinneberg,
Schwabach, Langenhagen, Wyhe, Burgdorf, Neetze, District Traunstein.
Several protestant regional church organisations: banned GE crops from
their land: Hannover, Hessen und Nassau, Sachsen, Protestantic Church
of Westfalen, Protestantic Church in Berlin-Brandenburg, Church Province
of Sachsen.

Luxembourg: Ban of Novartis Bt maize.

Portugal: Ban of Novartis Bt maize.

Greece: Ban of AgrEvo HR rapeseed, moratorium of GE crop trials.

Spain: The Basque Government went for a five year blanket
moratorium for GMOs. The Basque Government claims full powers
for agricultural policy and thus that they can provisionally ban GMOs
if they so wish. The three provinces of Castilla-La Mancha and Baleares
banned GE food, AndalucÌa declared a five year moratorium on GE
crop trials and GE food.

UK: The Church of England has refused permission for GE crop trials
on 60,000 hectares of its land, dozens of local authorities supply GE
free school lunches, the House of Commons banned GE foods for its
catering. The vote of the Welsh Assembly to keep Wales GE free was
counteracted by the ministry of Agriculture approving a GE maize variety.
The Island of Jersey banned GE crops.

OTHERS

Switzerland: Although a center of GE science and industry, only two
trials with GE potatoes in 1991/92 have been performed until now.

Norway: Banned the import of several GE crops and products which
contain antibiotic resistance genes.

Australia: The State of Tasmania banned GE rapeseed as weed,
Western Australia has banned commercial GE planting. Australian
States are given the right to declare themselves GE free. Some
communities (e.g. Bondi/Sydney, West Wimmera Shire) declared
themselves GE free.

New Zealand: Some local bodies in Auckland and Wellington have
declared themselves GM free. Trials with GE salmon have been blocked
by the government.

Thailand: Banned imports of 40 GE crops for commercial planting,
but not for research purposes.

Philippines: The community of Valencia called for a five-year
moratoria on GE food and GE crop trials and commercialization.
The Philippine president announced a moratorium on GE crop
research.

Saudi Arabia: Banned food that are made from GMOs and declared not
to import GE wheat.

Egypt: Declared not to import GE wheat.

Algeria: Banned the import, distribution, commercialisation and
utilization
of GE plants except for research purposes.

Brazil: Planting GE seeds is prohibited by federal law in Brazil
for the time being, the States of Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso
do Sul have declared their intentions to remain GM-free, 18 States
called upon the Central government to block commercial GE crop
planting.

Paraguay: The Ministry of Agriculture plans to ban GE crops from
commercial planting.

USA:
Various bills calling for moratoria on GE food (Vermont), bans
of GE wheat (North Dakota, Montana) have been filed within the last
year. Several municipalities declared moratoria on GE food
(Burlington/Vermont), bans of GE crops (City of Boulder/Colorado),
or urged the federal government to ban GE food (City and County of
San Francisco/California). Many attempts to adopt such bills or
resolutions failed in the past.

GENET will update the situation in the USA in a subsequent GE-free
Newsletter.

[N.B.: At this point nearly 20 states (the count was 16 6 months ago)
are discussing GMO-related legislation, including moratorium bills in
New York, Massachusetts and several others.]

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