The National Association of Environmentalists (MTVSZ) began a campaign in Hungary on Thursday against genetically modified crops, the campaign's organizer announced on Thursday. In its two-week campaign, MTVSZ will collect signatures in Budapest and in nine cities to pressure local governments in Hungary to declare GMO-free zones, Robert Fidrich said. Throughout Europe, 4,500 towns and 173 regions have declared themselves GMO-free zones. Fidrich said this was an effective tool in helping to prevent the European Commission from forcing any EU member into allowing GMO planting. The EU has relaxed the ban on planting 17-types of corns in 2004. EU member states, however, can impose a temporary ban. Hungary ordered such a ban last January to be maintained until mid-2006. Mostly smaller towns and the entire region west of the Danube have so far declared to set up such zones and MTVSZ expects two more settlements and one more region to do the same in March.