Complaints filed against a company wanting to grow GM crops in Iceland have been dismissed by the Ministry for the Environment, and the company will continue operations.
The controversy surrounds the company Orf Genetics, which wants to plant genetically modified barley in the east of Iceland, completely out of doors. Despite assurances from the company that their grain cannot cross-pollinate with other grains, nearby organic farmers became very worried about the prospect.
Verndun og ræktun (Protection and Growth), an association of organic farmers, filed six complaints about Orf with the Ministry for the Environment. Their concerns were specifically that the company could not prove that there was no danger in growing GM crops near organic crops, and that in fact it went against the ministry’s policy of sustainable growth to allow the company to have an operating licence in the first place.
In the end, all six complaints filed by Verndun og ræktun were dismissed.
Eyvindur Magnússon, an organic crops farmer for the company Móðir jörð (Mother Earth) whose land is near where Orf wants to grow their GM barley, said he was very disappointed with the ministry’s decision, adding that it was “unprecedented to allow such a big operation [as Orf’s] be conducted out of doors”.
GM Foods Controversy Reaches East Iceland