Novel campaign against GM crops
Bucharest - Anti-GM activists of Greenpeace have started another campaign against the cultivation of genetically modified crops, now in Romania. At a press conference, held by the organization at the beginning of October in Bucharest, Greenpeace representatives gave the impression they had discovered widespread illegal growing of GM soya and that Romanian authorities might have lost control over the situation. During the press conference a former Monsanto manager was presented, saying he believed that 126,000 hectares were planted with GM soya, probably due to contamination of conventional cultures and unregistered planting.
The numbers are in stark contrast to official data announced by Constantin Sin of the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture, according to the Bucharest Times.
In February he announced that the acreage of Roundup Ready soya, which is approved for cultivation in Romania since 2000, has surged from 39,600 hectares in 2003 to 58,100 hectares (+58,1%) last year, whilst the total acreage planted with soya had been 100,000 ha. Also, the productivity per hectare increased from 2 to 2.5 tons, according to Sin. Data presented by GM-advocate Graham Brookes of PG Economics Ltd. at the end of September are to complete the confusion on the real cultivation area. On the occasion of a presentation of his report “Agricultural biotechnology in Europe: benefits and issues” Brookes stated 70,000 hectares of the herbicide-tolerant soya have been planted in Romania in the last year. Interestingly this was 58% of the total area with soya, according to Brookes - which is the amount provided by Romanian officials. This leaves the impression that it might be the campaigners who are out of control.