Spain, September 15, 2003 -- CropChoice news -- (Reuters):
Spanish farmers and ecologists on Saturday invaded fields
of genetically-modified maize to protest against cultivation
of the crop in the only European country where it is
grown on a commercial scale.
Around 80 protesters, some dressed in white suits that
mimicked the protective outfits scientists wear to clear
up biological hazards, picked corncobs, cordoned off
GM plants, unfurled banners and spray-painted slogans
on walls at three GM trial sites throughout Spain.
The protests were timed to coincide with demonstrations
at the World Trade Organization (news - web sites) meeting
in the Mexican resort of Cancun, where agriculture has
been one of the main sticking points.
Organizers said this was the first time farmers have
risked arrest by interfering with GM crops at a protest
in Spain, where 20,000 hectares of genetically modified
maize were cultivated in 2002, out of a total of 460,000
sown to all maize.
"I'm here to demonstrate my repulsion at genetically
modified crops," said one 24 year old co-operative
member. "We want to spark a debate on GM crops,
because in Spain there is silence on this issue."