Although some Italian farmers are interested in the cultivation of GMO, the majority of consumers and farmers are opposed to GM crops and products. Consequently, many regions, provinces, and communes have decided to remain GM-free zones.
13 out of the 20 Italian regions have already declared themselves GM-free. More regions will follow in 2006. Most of these regions apply the precautionary principle, in order to prevent any risk to human health or the environment. The regions that already passed their anti-GMO legislation are Liguria, Alto Adige, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Marche, Umbria, Latium, Abruzzo, Apulia, Basilicata, and Calabria. However, the most important maize producing regions (Lombardy, Veneto, and Friuli-Venezia Giulia) have not passed such legislation, and local farmers organisations in these regions have expressed favour towards allowing GM crop plantings.
The biotechnology industry demands that GM admixtures simply be considered “impurities”.
Organic farmers are strictly opposed to the use of GM crops. The organic standard explicitly forbids the application of GMOs.
Prior to the installation of each law governing the use of GMOs, there have been consultation activities involving all relevant stakeholders.
Many environmentalist and consumers' groups lobby against GM plants in Italy. Among them are the Resistance against Frankenfood and Biopiracy (RFB), Greenpeace, and the WWF. The European Consumer Consultive Group (ECCG) has stated: “GM crops must be contained to prevent contamination of GM-free food. Italian people are proud of their food and don't want to eat GM.”
13 regions, 37 provinces, and 2075 communes have declared themselves GM-free territories; further regions are considering joining them.