GM Watch  [Printer-friendly version]
April 1, 2006


The following letter has been sent -- on behalf of small family
farmers in Sweden -- to the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister
of the Environment in the Swedish Government, to Monsanto and Syngenta
and other chemical companies, and to Mariann.Fischer-Boel and Margot
Wallstrom in the EU, as well as to the WTO [World Trade Organization].
(English translation of Swedish original)

[Rachel's introduction: In a letter to government officials, farmers
in Sweden ask why the precautionary principle is being ignored as
genetically modified organisms (GMOs) make their way into European
crops. They suggest strict conditions under which the use of GMOs
might reasonably proceed.]

The Smallholders in Sweden
30 March 2006

We, members of the Smallholders in Sweden, are terrified to see how
the European Union, WTO, and other authorities and governments are
dealing with the GMO and pesticide debates. We are also seeing how
Monsanto and the other companies in their ambition to make more money
out of agriculture and consumers do not care what many EU-countries as
well as farmers and consumers feel about genetic modification/genetic

What frightens us most is how authorities and governments in Sweden
and some other countries, as well as the European Union and WTO, are
trying in every possible way to silence the debate and in that way
introduce GMOs against most people's wishes.

Furthermore, not only authorities, governments, the EU and the WTO but
also Monsanto and other companies are trying to keep the results of
the research on GM strictly secret.

We, members of the Union of Smallholders in Sweden, call for:

- Monsanto and other companies immediately to be instructed to give
further details about their research findings to every authority and
organization who asks for it;

- Monsanto and other producers of GMOs immediately to stop their
efforts to make farmers and consumers accept the contamination of food
and nature by GMOs;

- the European Union and the WTO immediately to stop forcing upon
their citizens something they neither need nor want;

- Monsanto and other companies to give a written guarantee that the
products of genetic modification/genetic manipulation are not
dangerous and that they take full responsibility for any future
damage. They must also guarantee that they will pay for all the direct
and indirect economic consequences on anyone who might be affected by
their GM products. They must also undertake to make good any damage to
nature where possible;

- governments, the EU and the WTO immediately to stop making decisions
in the name of all the citizens they claim to represent regarding
pesticides and genetic modification/genetic manipulation;

- governments, the EU and the WTO to explain in writing how on such
vital issues they dare to deviate from the so called precautionary
principle and how they dare to trust the so called experts who are
often dependent on commercial interests;

- an immediate ban on all genetic modification/genetic manipulation,
to be followed by a ten-year moratorium. During this period reliable
studies into whether these products are dangerous or not must be
undertaken and their results published. Furthermore, at the end of ten
years there should be a further review;

- all international and national organizations who take an interest in
these matters to be consulted, because of the difficulty in trusting
politicians, researchers and officials;

and that if the above demands are not satisfied, we insist upon an
immediate prohibition on the production, distribution and cultivation
of such products.

Union of Smallholders in Sweden

Jan-Erik Necander (responsible for GMO questions and pesticides in the
Union of Smallholders in Sweden)

Forbundet Sveriges Smabrukare
c/o Jan-Erik Necander
Hultabergsvagen 6
511 91 Skene, Sweden
Tel: +46-320-41070
Mob: +46-704-185800