Seit 12.30 Uhr blockieren rund 30 Aktivistinnen und Aktivisten aus ganz Europa die Einfahrt einer Schiffsladung von genmanipuliertem Mais in den Hafen von Lissabon. Sie fordern die portugiesische Regierung auf, die Einfuhr von genmanipuliertem Mais zu verbieten. Der von Ciba (heute Novartis) entwickelte Mais ist gegen ein Pestizid und den Maiszünsler resistent gemacht worden und wird in den USA angebaut. Aus Louisiana stammt auch das gegenwärtig blockierte Schiff. In Frankreich soll übrigens – trotz EU-Zulassung – der Anbau des Gentech-Maises verboten bleiben, wie Premierminister Alain Juppé letzte Woche bekanntgab.

Lissabon. Greenpeace is preventing a shipload of genetically engineered corn from docking at Lisbon harbour, its first direct action against genetically manipulated foodstuffs in Portugal since the organisation launched its international campaign against GE products. Around 30 activists from Europe (Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Netherland, Sweden and Belgium) and North America are using four inflatable boats to stop the ship, the Pacificator from Louisiana, from berthing at Lisbon docks. The action began around 12.30 pm local time. „There is no reason why Portugal == one of Europe’s biggest importers of corn == should be exposed to genetically engineered corn while other Europeans are being protected by their governments,“ said Greenpeace campaigner Riki Aguilar. „By implementing Article 16 of the Directive which governs the release of genetically engineered foodstuffs, Austria and Luxembourg have banned the GE maize and forced the European Commission to reconsider its controversial decision to approve it. The Portuguese government should do the same.“ GE corn has been developed by the Swiss multinational Ciba Geigy to be resistant to a pesticide and to a corn pest. Greenpeace believes there are unacceptable environmental and health risks from the release of genetically engineered crops, and has carried out actions against GE corn and soya throughout Europe and the United States. Only last week, France anounced it would not allow the corn to be grown there. French Prime Minister Alain Juppe said they could not predict the long-term effects of sowing the genetically engineered seed. Luxembourg’s Environment Minister has said that the findings of the scientific committees consulted by the Commission are not sufficiently conclusive to rule out all harmful effectts on human health and the environment.