Geneva.– Greenpeace today welcomed the decision of the Brazilian Environment Protection Agency IBAMA to fine Swiss Agro-Biotech multinational Syngenta one million reais (386 000 euros) for conducting illegal field trials of GE soy in a buffer zone around the Iguacu Falls World Heritage Site.
The organization is confident that a judicial order for the destruction of the genetically engineered plants will also be issued in due time. IBAMA' s decision was announced today at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) taking place in Curitiba, Brazil.
"This decision sounds a clear warning to agro-biotech firms intent on putting economic interests ahead of biosafety and enforces respect for biodiversity and protected areas," said Greenpeace International's Doreen Stabinsky from the field site.
"The announcement is right on the mark and makes a mockery of Syngenta's denial last week that it had acted illegally. It confirms the legitimacy and necessity of the occupation of the field by local peasants."
National law in Brazil expressly prohibits the planting of GMOs in conservation areas as well as buffer zones around those areas, based on the precautionary principle. Syngenta's GE soy field trials were found six kilometers from the park, however national law requires a buffer zone of at least ten kilometers.