During the past three days, Goldman Environmental Prize winner Sofía Gatica and Maria Godoy, both Argentinian activists and members of the group “Mothers of Ituzaingó”, have been travelling across Spain to expose the dangers of the cultivation of genetically modified soya and the use of glyphosate. Argentina is one of the biggest soy exporters in the world. They warned Spanish citizens – Spain being the first GM producer in the EU – that if herbicide-tolerant GM soya were cultivated in Spain, the social and environmental consequences would be unforseeable and irreversible. The events in Spain are part of a speakers tour across Europe which will end in Brussels, where Sofia and Maria will join the Good Food March today. In conferences and meetings with local groups in Córdoba, Madrid, Zaragoza and Barcelona, as well as through a wide range of media interviews, the two activists described the adverse health effects which Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soy has caused in their neighbourhood Ituzaingó near Córdoba resulting in a high number of cancer, malformations and miscarriages. In the Spanish city of Córdoba, around 80 people, amongst them farmers, neighbours and members of NGOs and organic consumption groups, gathered in the Orive Gardens and discussed strategies on how to avoid the cultivation of GM crops in Spain and worldwide. Sofia and Maria told the audience about the recent court sentence, which found one soy farmer and a pilot of a spraying plane guilty of contaminating the area. On Tuesday, coinciding with the international day against Monsanto, Sofia and Maria held a panel discussion in Zaragoza. Farmers, agricultural engineers, consumers organisations and local citizens discussed the GM situation in the region of Aragón and the lack of a GMO free label in Spain. In Barcelona, more than 60 people came to hear the two activists, who called for a ban on GM soy into the EU. The discussion focussed on the lack of independent research regarding the health effects of GM crops and pesticide use.
“Mothers of Ituzaingó” tour Spain and join the Good Food March