Quercus “names and shames” Portugal’s transgenic cornfields

From today, anyone worrying about where Portugal is cultivating genetically-modified crops can access an online website, giving all the information.

Environmental group Quercus has set up the site after exhaustive requests to the Ministry of Agriculture.

It warns that the crops “could be prejudicial to the health of neighbouring plantations”, yet it took nine years to get the information it required.

For now, this link www.stopogm.net/cultivos will give people the names, addresses and size of all plantations involved.

Portugal’s platform “Transgênicos Fora” (Transgenics Out) believes that with publication of the map, people “who did not know that they had genetically modified crops at the door” will then start pressing the government to ban this kind of farming.

And Quercus “laments” the fact that Portugal continues to welcome projects for transgenic crops.

“For example, at the end of 2014, it voted in favour of importing new varieties of cotton and transgenic rapeseed – to the horror of most member states and despite the direct risk this poses for our natural bio and agricultural diversity,” the group claims.

In fact, Portugal is one of the only countries in the EU that freely embraces genetically-modified farming practices, along with Spain and the Czech Republic.

Quercus added that Portugal has the right to say no to transgenics – something that both the Madeira and Azores have already done.

By NATASHA DONN [email protected]