P.S., European Constitution and Food Safety

P.S., European Constitution and Food Safety

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By Mariano Cereijo Gelo

First was the draft Royal Decree on Coexistence Between Transgenic and Non-Transgenic Crops (RDC). Both texts of the ZP government pave the way for seed and biotechnological interests.

The Socialist Party and the European Constitution Erode Sovereignty and Food Security.

First was the draft Royal Decree on Coexistence Between Transgenic and Non-Transgenic Crops (RDC). According to the criticisms of certain organizations, both texts of the ZP government pave the way for seed and biotechnological interests. However, this threat goes further and could be reaffirmed through some articles of a European Constitution, which has been genetically modified with the genes of neoliberalism; avoiding social participation, and then advertising with public funds, for its passive social acceptance through misinformation and folkloric ballotism.


At the end of December 2004, the organizations of the Rural Platform criticized the RDC project with astonishment and harshness. Said regulations should serve to preserve and protect citizens and organic and conventional farmers from any transgenic trace. According to this Platform, the legal text contemplates inefficient measures, which can hardly avoid genetic contamination in non-transgenic crops. With the DRC, genetic contamination becomes a fait accompli, rather than an "accidental or technically unavoidable" fact, as specified by European law.

The turn of the screw is suffocating. Normal farmers are left helpless and perplexed, faced with the more than certain possibility of seeing their crops contaminated by nearby transgenic crops. Who will take responsibility? How will the market respond to this fact? The RDC does not prevent it.

Consumers are denied their right to freely choose clean GM food. The permitted contamination threshold is very wide (0.9% of transgenic material). But also, many circumstances remain unanswered. Will it be possible to follow the trail of every transgenic trace? Can it be controlled so that it does not exceed the maximum allowed in a normal and organic crop? And if it exceeds it, what measures are planned? How and who will be in charge of analyzing the thousands of tons of food susceptible to genetic contamination? Because if these questions are not answered, who guarantees a reliable and real labeling? which is the same. Who guarantees reliable and real information to the consumer? And the million dollar question in this article: if it were to become a reality, would some of the public health risks associated with transgenics become a reality? Would the public have a safe channel of non-genetically contaminated food? Or put another way, does the RDC guarantee our food security?

The LS.

The Coordinator of Organizations of Farmers and Ranchers (COAG), has launched the cry to the sky. The Council of Ministers could approve the draft of the LS, of which, said organization warns that "? It alarmingly violates the rights of farmers."

Among other things, COAG denounces that the draft would not legally recognize the historical right of farmers to exchange seeds. Furthermore, local varieties would be left unprotected compared to certified ones, because their promotion and registration would not have been contemplated.

With both measures, the government would be willing to tolerate the dependence of our farmers, towards the economic interests that commercialize, certify and patent seeds. As can be seen, the very genesis of crops and food would be in the hands of companies and multinationals, not farmers and cooperatives. These facts in themselves suppose the deterioration of food sovereignty, hoisted for centuries by farmers.

Regarding the possible risk of genetic contamination in seed production, COAG warns that "This aspect has not been mentioned in the draft of the Law, nor are the necessary efforts being made to defend this position in the negotiations of the community directives that regulate "Once again, the government would be giving free rein to genetic contamination, ignoring the rights of conventional and ecological farmers.

According to COAG, organic farming has hardly been considered in the LS, especially with regard to the existence of seeds adapted to it and its regulation.

Another noteworthy fact, as Rafael Hernández (COAG's Responsible for Agricultural production) warns, is given by the elaboration of the text itself that "Given the relevance of the content of the documents that are being prepared, the dialogue with the sector at the initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture should have been more direct and closer by calling meetings for that purpose. "

The European Constitution on the Environment and Food Security and Sovereignty.

If this legislation were approved, the irresponsibility and arbitrariness of the socialist government would be verified, as well as its complicity with the agribusiness lobbies, leaving the citizens and especially the farmers defenseless. An exercise that would be useful to carry out at this time would be to examine whether the new Europe, with its Constitution at the helm, is going to be able to guarantee food security and sovereignty.

To begin this brief analysis, in agricultural matters I want to highlight only two aspects of Art. III-227. The first objective of the common agricultural policy will be "To increase agricultural productivity by promoting technical progress (?) As well as the optimal use of factors of production, in particular of labor". Very possibly, the first part will once again affect agrochemicals, patented transgenic and conventional seeds, as well as other types of technologies, which bind the farmer while enriching the corporations that sell them. It is important to highlight that the Constitution will guarantee the protection of intellectual and industrial property (Art. III-176). The aforementioned technical progress, together with the sacrosanct free market (supported ad nauseam in this Constitution), will in any case prevent the emancipation and independence of the farmer. On the second part of the paragraph and the optimal use of labor, from what point of view is it projected? From the neoliberal or from the labor market? If it is from the first, farmers can have a hard time, because according to the CGT, the Constitution does not recognize the right to work (replaced by the "right to work"), as well as full employment, a decent salary and job stability , which is supplanted by flexibility.

The second objective contemplated in Art. III-227, will seek to guarantee an equitable standard of living for the agricultural population and increase the individual income of farmers. Just by analyzing the objective and the two legal texts set out above, it is enough to realize that this slogan is rhetorical and demagogic. The small farmer is in danger of extinction. The only ones that increase their private income are large landowners and landowners, as well as chemical, biotechnological, agro-exporters and seed companies. I do not believe that the Constitution turns the tables, guaranteeing food sovereignty.

In Section 5 (on the environment), Art. III-233 begins with this phrase "The Union's environmental policy shall contribute to achieving the following objectives". It is not possible to comment on the objectives, since you only have to analyze the previous sentence well and specifically, the verb "will contribute". To give a clear example, the European Union will be able to contribute to achieving the established objectives, with one euro or one billion euros. The verb contribute is very elastic allowing everything and nothing, black and white, up or down, right or left. Contributing is not the same as guaranteeing.

Within the values ​​of the Union (Art. I-2), respect or protection of the environment is conspicuous by its absence. The concept of sustainable development (Art. I-3), is adulterated to introduce it in a clearly neoliberal dialectic. All it can say is that the Union will work for sustainable development based "? On a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment." To avoid doubts, this same phrase is repeated almost verbatim in Art. II-97 and partially in Art. III-233.

In Art. III-172, the regulations for the "establishment or operation of the internal market" will seek a "high level" of protection in health, safety, the environment and consumers.

In themselves, these objectives are insufficient and opaque, since the term "high level" is very flexible, relative and confusing; being able to go up and down according to the scale of each person, organization or institution. For example, my "high level" will surely be higher than that of the presidents of REPSOL or MONSANTO. This indeterminacy gives free rein to aggressive neoliberal policies, since their impacts can be legislatively tolerated under the argument that even with them, the degree of protection for citizens and the environment is high.

The risks of transgenic food and crops can be measured and tolerated by politicians, businessmen and technocrats, under a divine, unique and omnipresent pattern called the market. The European Constitution rules out total food security, for a fictitious concept called "high level" of protection.

In short, our "brilliant" democracies want us to vote affirmatively on an "excellent" Constitution, which radically puts the market and economic interests before social and ecological Europe. The sole intention of the European Constitution is to legally and legislatively cement the consolidation of a strong and competent economic bloc, capable of facing other world powers. The rest of subjects and agents will be marginalized, relegated and attached to this spinal column. Citizens and the environment will not be exceptions.

* Spanish environmental and ecologist consultant

Video: Scientific Cooperation - working together to keep Europes food safe (July 2022).


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