are requesting the EU-Commission and the Spanish government to
the cultivation of MON810. Otherwise, gene flow from MON810 to
teosinte may cause it to produce Bt toxin. This would, in turn,
confer higher fitness to the hybrids of maize and teosinte in
comparison to the native teosinte plants and enable the
spread widely without control. This is a scenario carrying major
risks for farmers and the environment", Maria Carrascosa says
Red de Semillas from Spain.
does not normally grow in Europe, but rather in Mexico, which is
joint centre of origin for maize and teosinte. It is not clear
teosinte was introduced into Spain, where it is seen as a weed
has detrimental economic implications for maize farmers.
engineered maize MON810 is produced by the US company Monsanto,
is cultivated in Spain on an area of more than 100.000 hectares.
Vázquez from Ecologistas en Acción seriously criticises the
authorities in Spain and Brussels: "The Spanish Ministry of
Agriculture and the European Commission know that we have
but they are not taking actions. This situation is untenable."
of genetically engineered plants holding authorisations
the cultivation of these plants in the EU are legally obliged to
prepare annual monitoring reports about the associated risks.
Therefore, the information about teosinte has to be included
these reports as a potential threat to farmers and the
However, as the organisations discovered by analysing official
reports published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
April 2016, neither Monsanto nor the EFSA have made any mention
the spread of teosinte and its possible implications at all. The
organisations consider this to be unacceptable, in particular,
because they already informed the Commission about the problem
cultivation of MON810 has only been allowed under the condition
there were no relatives of the maize to which transgenes could
transferred and thus spread. This has now changed completely."
Christoph Then says for Testbiotech.
their joint letter, the organisations Amigos de la Tierra (Spain),
Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y Ganaderos COAG
(Spain), Ecologistas en Acción (Spain), GeneWatch UK, Plataforma
Andalucía Libre de Transgénicos (Spain), Red de Semillas
"Resembrando e Intercambiando" (Spain) and Testbiotech (Germany)
request the EU Commission to
reject the opinion as put forward by EFSA
take measures to stop the cultivation of MON810 in Spain
withdraw the authorisation for the cultivation of MON810 GM maize in the EU, since the responsible company has repeatedly failed to provide any information on the teosinte infestation in Spain and its risks for farmers and the environment.
Carrascosa. Red de Semillas "Resembrando e Intercambiando". Tel.
0034 650 102 339, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gabriela Vazquez. Ecologistas en Acción. Tel. 0034 635 170 495, email@example.com
Christoph Then, Testbiotech. Tel + 49 151 54638040, firstname.lastname@example.org
The letter sent to the EU Commission: www.testbiotech.org/node/1616
Previous joint letter to the EU Commission: www.testbiotech.org/node/1560