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Greenpeace Shuts Down Spain's Largest Soy Importer

Greenpeace Shuts Down Spain's
Largest Soy Importer

Spain's largest soy importer accused of deliberate genetic contamination

Barcelona, 14th February, 2002 - Greenpeace activists today shut down
the facilities of the largest soy importer in Spain, Moyresa, in Barcelona,
after contamination from genetically engineered (GE) varieties was
detected in its present US- imported stocks (1). Greenpeace accused
Moyresa of routine and deliberate contamination after the company had
admitted mixing GE-free soy from Brazil with unlabelled GE supplies from
the US and Argentina (2).

The activists from ten countries (3) halted the work at the loading
facilities by chaining themselves across the loading bay entrance and
to the machinery. They held a banner that said "Genetic Contamination -
Don't buy it" demanding that Moyresa, which controls 70% of the local soy-
market, commit to provide secure uncontaminated supplies to Spain.

"This company is deliberately denying the Spanish consumers and food
industry the right to GE-free food chain. We urge the Spanish Government
to use the authority of its current EU Presidency to help enforce the strongest
possible legislation to restrict the growth and import of GE crops in Europe,
in order to halt genetic contamination. Spaniards as well as other Europeans
have repeatedly and clearly stated that GE is not wanted in their food chain,"
said Juan-Felipe Carrasco, GMO campaigner for Greenpeace Spain. (4)

Greenpeace called for Spain to support the de-facto moratorium on new
GE crop approvals, to speed up the proposed European regulation on food
and animal feed as well as traceability of genetically modified organisms, to
ensure zero-tolerance toward genetic contamination of seeds, and to
demand that all EU member states follow Spain's example and ratify the UN
Biosafety Protocol.

"The list of examples of genetic contamination, inadequate safety legislation and
social concerns surrounding GE crops is growing almost daily. The great so
called gifts that GE crops have so far brought are potential allergies, lower yields,
chemical dependency, corporate control and contamination of the basic seed
biodiversity that sustains life on earth. This uncontrolled genetic experiment has to
stop," Carrasco concluded

For more information: Juan-Felipe Carrasco, Genetic Engineering Campaigner,
Greenpeace Spain, Mob: 34-626 998 244; Mamen Illan, Media Officer,
Greenpeace Spain, Mob: 34 626 998 248; Lindsay Keenan, Greenpeace
International, Mob: 49 171 505 2896; Teresa Merilainen, Greenpeace
International Press Office, Mob: 31625031001.

Photos available from Greenpeace International Picture Desk, John
Novis, Mob: 31 653819121; Video from Greenpeace International, Martin
Atkin, Mob: 31 627000057

Notes to the Editors:

Lastweek a US ship, MV Amazon, delivered 40,000 tonnes of soy to the
Moyresa facility. Genetic testing of samples collected by Greenpeace
from this facility indicate the presence of the called Cauliflower Mosaic
Virus Promoter (35S), which is used in a number of GE crops. Further testing
confirmed the contamination originates from Monsanto's GE soy known as
"Round-up". The tests were conducted by Bio tools B&M Labs. SA.

(2) Moyresa has five soy crushing facilities in Spain. The company is
owned by Cereol Holding ({ HYPERLINK http://www.cereolworld.com)
}www.cereolworld.com), which is a part of the Montedison Group ({
HYPERLINK
http://www.montedisongroup.com) www.montedisongroup.com). In
1999/2000, Spain was the third largest importer and the largest domestic
consumer of soy in the EU using 4.5 million tonnes (MT). 3 MT came from the
US and Argentina where the majority of the production is GE. 1.5 MT came from
Brazil, where the growing of GE crops is illegal. The processed soy
is used in a variety of food products and as animal feed. USDA FAS: Oilseeds:
World Markets and Trade, FOP 11 Nov 2001 and FAS GAIN Report, Spain
Oilseeds and Products, Import and Exports 2001
http://www.fas.usda.gov/gainfiles/200110/130682119.pdf

(3) The activists taking part in this action were from Belgium, Canada, Germany,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Russia,Spain, UK and the US.

(4) A recent survey of Spanish consumers showed that 66% of people
would not want to buy food products containing GE. Eurobarometer polls show
that over 70 % of Europeans reject GE and close to 95 % demand to be fully
informed whether GMOs are in their food. The Spanish consumer survey
was conducted by the Spanish Sociologic Research Centre in March, 2001.


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