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Romania – illegal GM soya growing widespread

Research in 2005 by Greenpeace, has revealed that growing of Monsanto’s GM Roundup Ready soybean is out of control in Romania. Tests of soybean leaves from farmer's fields revealed that undeclared GM soya growing was widespread.

Under Romanian laws, farmers have to inform the Ministry of Agriculture when they are growing GM soybeans. This registration usually takes place when farmers buy their seeds but many farmers are now keeping seed to resow and a black market is in operation.

Greenpeace took ten samples from fields where farmers had declared they were growing GM soybeans in 2004 but not in 2005. The samples were sent for PCR analysis to an independent certified laboratory in Austria, where there were found to be positive for Roundup Ready soybeans. The counties affected (Ia?i, Mures, Alba, Hunedoara, Tulcea, Giurgiu, Arad, Cluj, S?laj and Arges) are spread all across Romania. Interviews with local farmers showed that they were willing to sell farm-saved GM soya seed and that a black market in undeclared growing has developed. One farmer had not declared any of the 500ha of GM soya he was actually growing.

In 2004, official figures put GM soya in Romania at 47% of the 123,000ha of soya grown. It is now thought that illegal growing means that up to 90% of Romania’s soya crop is now GM.

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Further information

Genetically engineered organisms out of control in Romania. Ex-Monsanto director speaks out. Greenpeace Press Release, October 10, 2005 >

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