Greece strongly opposes the use of genetically modified plants. According to the Eurobarometer surveys in 2002 and 2004, Greece has the lowest acceptance, and the highest risk perception, of GM plants of all EU member states.
The Government has not approved any GM plants for commercial cultivation. When the European Commission demanded the lift of a ban on MON810 maize in January 2006, the Greek government immediately renewed the ban - and extended it to further varieties.
No political party wishes to oppose public opinion. Therefore, all parties follow conservatives strategies on GMOs and co-existence.
Seed and biotechnology companies support co-existence, but their influence is limited due to a lack of trust among consumers and filtering from the media.
Farmers’ associations are sceptical of co-existence, partially because farmers’ associations are politically affiliated and adopt the opinions of political parties. Additionally, Greek farmers lack practical experience with GM agriculture.
Consumer groups and NGOs, such as Greenpeace, lobby against GMOs. With broad support from the media, their activities strongly influence public opinion.
Greece is divided into 54 administrative regions with semi-autonomous governments. Each of these 54 departments has signed a statement declaring its jurisdiction a GMO-free zone. These movements, which greatly limit the decision-making capacity of the federal government, are supported by the local governments and by the majority of the public.
Recently, the idea of making entire Greece an officially GMO-free part of Europe has been gaining momentum. The prospect has enjoyed strong support from politicians and the public.