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Agence France-Presse

Getting Corny: Environmentalists Seek 'Agricultural Asylum'


Environmentalist rallying against genetically-modified corn. (AFP image)

MADRID — Environmentalists dressed as giant ears of corn Tuesday
asked for "agricultural asylum" in the French embassy in Madrid in a
protest over genetically modified crops.

The environmental
organisation Friends of the Earth organised the symbolic act to protest
Spain's "large-scale" production of genetically modified corn, which is
banned in France.

Around 20 protesters from several European
countries and dressed as corn cobs demonstrated outside the French
embassy in central Madrid.

They handed over a petition to one of the diplomats, saying they would "rather flee to France than be genetically modified."

want to condemn the fact that Spain is the only country in Europe to
grow genetically modified corn, without any measures to protect against
contamination" of the crop with non-GM corn, a spokeswoman for Friends
of the Earth said.

Several European countries, including France
and Germany, have invoked an EU safeguard procedure to bar a strain of
genetically modified corn produced by US agricultural giant Monsanto,
after a watchdog said it had doubts about the product.

GM crops are a fiercely contested issue in Europe, pitting agribusiness corporations against a powerful green lobby.

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