LAGOS has officially become the first council in the Algarve to be declared free from genetically modified crops.
The news was declared in Monday’s edition of Diário da República, the state official journal of laws, after a proposal presented by the municipal assembly on August 20, as reported by The Resident in its August 24 edition.
A dispatch signed by Castelão Rodrigues, regional director of Direcção Regional de Agricultura e Pescas, the Algarve’s representative of the Minister of Agriculture ”recognises the establishment of a free-zone of genetically modified crops in Lagos” and includes all the Lagos geographic area.
By approving this proposal, Portugal has become the first country in the European Union to legislate a GM free zone with national and EU laws at the same time, which gives more power to farmers who requested the status.
A GM free status is given when there is at least a two-third majority in favour at the Assembleia Municipal, municipal assembly, and a total agreement from all the farmers concerned.
In the Lagos case, all involved agreed on the request for the status and that eased the decision, effective since Monday.
Lagos had already been declared a GM free zone in 2004 by the regional association of Câmaras in what was considered a “political statement” without legal support.
A continuous area of at least 3,000 hectares has to be assigned for it to be declared GM free for a maximum period of five years. After this time, the status can either be renewed or cancelled.
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