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Support Greek farmers’ lawsuit against Syngenta

Geplaatst in: Gentech - Achtergrond | 0

GESASE, who represents the professional interests of farmers in Greece,
is calling for expression of support or opinions on the issue. Since
the final Court decision could affect all similar cases in Europe, your
support is crucial and will be used during the Court hearing. Send your
letter to info@gesase.gr or lap@gesase.gr

Background
In spring 2004, Greek authorities discovered that with GM contaminated corn and
cotton seeds had entered the greek market. In many cases, the contaminated corn seeds had been sold to farmers without informing them and
already sown in various small areas mainly at Northern parts of Greece.
According to Ministry of Agriculture official statements Greek
government traced and destroy 117,97 hectares of sown corn fields.

Two companies were liable for the GE corn contamination, Pioneer and
Syngenta. Both companies offered to the farmers compensation provided
that they would had signed a contract. By signing the contract the
farmer was bound not to turn against the company; in case they would,
they had to return the money of compensation to the company. The amount
of compensation differed from farmer to farmer, from area to area and
from company to company. In some cases, a company offered to cover the
cost of farmer’s expenses up to that time. In other cases, they offered
to cover a part of the lost profit or a part of the subsidy per hectare.

The General Confederation of Greek Agrarian Association (GESASE) decided
to support some farmers to proceed to the court against the companies.
Few months later, GESASE announced in a Press Conference (10.03.2005)
that in the name of farmers that had cultivated GE contaminated hybrid
seeds, they filed a lawsuit against Syngenta.

GESASE filed a second lawsuit against the greek authorities as they had
allowed GE contaminated seeds to enter the greek market. Although, since
2001, Hellenic Ministry of Agriculture, has been conducting official
controls on imported  and domestic seedlots in order to eliminate cases
of contamination, it is obvious that  these controls did not prevent
GE seed contamination. The first incidents of seed contamination had
been revealed by Greenpeace in 2000, when they had conducted tests to
cotton seeds.

Mr Goniotakis, the President of GESASE stated that they will continue
their battle against GMOs, as the unique biodiversity of greek
agriculture is in danger and has to be preserved. In numerous cases
in the past, GESASE has undertaken action to stop GMOs from entering the greek
agriculture.

In June 2005, GESASE announced that it will support another group of
farmers against the company Pioneer HI-Bred and a third lawsuit was filed.