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GM Crops. 2011 Jun-Dec;2(3):138-43. doi: 10.4161/gmcr.2.3.18476. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Coexistence between conventional, organic and GM crops production: the Portuguese system.

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Siena University; Sienna, Italy.


The objective of this paper is to analyze the way of Portugal is addressing the issue of the coexistence between conventional, organic and Genetically Modified (GM) crops production. In the EU, no form of agriculture, be it conventional, organic or transgenic, should be excluded. Farmers are free to choose the production type they prefer, without being forced to change patterns already established in the area and without spending more resources. Farmers' choice of growing GM or non-GM crops depends not only on technical aspects related to the productivity gains and agronomic benefits to be gained from adopting this technology, but also on consumers' preferences. Today only few Member States have adopted specific legislation on coexistence. Portugal was one of the first European Country that, in 2005, adopted a coexistence law and it has implemented one of the most complete systems of coexistence regulation. Today Portugal has a well-balanced regime based on free choice for consumers and growers. It has a coexistence system complete regulation and farmers who wish to cultivate GM maize must fulfill with national coexistence legislation that includes the following compulsory rules: participate in specific coexistence training courses, register the cultivation area, inform by written notification about their intent to cultivate GM, apply measures of coexistence, among others.

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