BRASILIA, BRAZIL -- March 22 -- In the coming days, Brazilian President Luis Lula Da Siva will have the last chance to adapt the Biosafety law passed in Brazil's lower house March 2nd and opens the way for all kinds of GE releases without the need for an environmental or health assessment. Greenpeace calls on President Lula to use his veto and keep away from this "Monsanto law" thus ensuring that no GE crops will be released into the environment or end up in the food chain.|
For years GE soya has been smuggled into Brazil and grown illegally in the southern states. Instead of preventing the farmers of illegally growing GE crops, the Brazilian government adopted temporary decrees that allowed the farmers to harvest their illegally grown soya.
"This is the last chance for the president to watch over the environment and at the same time follow the will of the Brazilian people who are against the approval of GE crops," said Gabriela Couto of Greenpeace Brazil. "Lula shouldn't go the way of least resistance but should reject this Monsanto Law".
It is expected that Monsanto's Roudup Ready Soya technology will be the first crop that gets approval for sale in Brazil. As Brazil has been the last major soya exporting country with a ban on GE crops, the country has benefited from the strong demand from the EU, one of the biggest market destinations for Brazilian non-GE soya. European consumers are strongly opposed to GE-food, which resulted in a European food market that is as good as closed to GE-food. A Greenpeace report shows that 49 out of 60 major food and drink producers and retailers do not sell GE products and even adopted a non-GE policy in their main market or throughout the EU (1).
"Major markets for Brazilian soya such as the EU and China are strongly opposed to GE food. Brazil shouldn't take risks with the environment and as a result lose these two major food markets," said Isabel Meister, Greenpeace International GE campaigner. "If Brazil becomes a GE supporter, other countries and regions will happily take over the supply for a lucrative non-GE market."
Greenpeace calls on Lula to stop this Monsanto law as GE crops are not necessary and have too many risks for the people and the environment.
Notes to Editor:
1) European Markets Report: http://www.greenpeace.org/international_en/multimedia/download/1/724658/0/mktnew.pdf