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2013年5月CATTI二级笔译实务真题与参考译文

2014-04-17 14:27

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  Passage 2(The New York Times 8th, Mar, 2011)

  EU Signals Big Shift on Genetically Modified Crops

  Madeira is more than 500 kilometers from the African coast and is officially one of the “outermost regions” of the European Union. Despite that far-flung status, Madeira catapulted into the center of the Union’s agricultural and environmental affairs last year when Portugal asked the European Commission for permission to impose an unprecedented ban on growing biotech crops there.

  Last week, the commission quietly let the deadline pass for opposing Portugal’s request, allowing Madeira, which is one of Portugal’s autonomous regions, to become the first E.U. territory to get formal permission from Brussels to remain entirely free of genetically modified organisms. Madeira now will probably go ahead and implement the ban, a spokeswoman for the Portuguese government said Friday.

  Individual European countries and regions have banned certain genetically modified crops before. Many consumers and farmers in countries like Austria, France and Italy regard the crops as potentially dangerous and likely to contaminate organically produced food. But the case of Madeira represents a significant landmark, because it is the first time the commission, which runs the day-to-day affairs of the European Union, has permitted a country to impose such a sweeping and definitive rejection of the technology.

  The Madeirans’ main concerns focused on preserving the archipelago’s biodiversity and its forest of subtropical laurel trees. Such forests, known as laurisilva, were once widespread on the European mainland but were wiped out thousands of years ago during an earlier period of climate change. That has left Madeira with “much the largest extent of laurel forest surviving in the world, with a unique suite of plants and animals,” according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which named the Madeiran laurisilva a World Heritage Site in 1999.The forest also is a growing attraction for tourists, who make up a significant portion of Madeira’s earnings.

  In seeking to ban biotechnology on Madeira, the Portuguese government told the commission that it would be impossible to separate crops containing genetically engineered material from other plant life. The “risk to nature presented by the deliberate release of GMOs is so dangerous and poses such a threat to the environmental and ecological health of Madeira, that it is not worthwhile risking their use, either directly in the agricultural sector or even on an experimental basis,” the Portuguese told the commission, using the acronym for genetically modified organisms.

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