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Tuesday, 18 March 2014 08:28

France Bans Patented Monsanto GMO Corn as Sign of Firm Opposition to Modified Seeds

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MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

eugmo.gpg(Photo: greensefa)In a firm act of defiance against the chemical companies turned "food engineers," this past weekend France prohibited the MON 810 GMO corn seed. According to Reuters:

The French government, which maintains that GM crops present environmental risks, has been trying to institute a new ban on GM maize (corn) after its highest court has twice previously struck down similar measures.

The decision is timed to avert any sowing of GM maize by farmers before a draft law is debated on April 10 aimed at banning planting of GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

"The sale, use and cultivation of varieties of maize seed from the line of genetically modified maize MON 810 (...) is banned in the country until the adoption, on the one hand, of a final decision, and secondly, of (EU) community action, " said a decree published on Saturday.

Annual sowing of maize in France gets under way in the second half of March.

As reported in a BuzzFlash at Truthout commentary from June of last year entitled, "Protests Force Monsanto to Abandon GMO Expansion in Europe":

Confronted with ongoing protests and opposition from farmers, Monsanto is abandoning efforts to get approval for new GMO seeds in the European Union.  In addition to boosting the morale of GMO opponents, the Monsanto standdown was publicly admitted by the company.  Most often large corporations take a public relations stance that obfuscates defeats by using euphemistic public relations language or diversionary tactics.

According to CBS MarketWatch:

Monsanto doesn't plan to apply for the approval of new genetically modified seeds in Europe due to low demand from farmers and stiff opposition from the general public, the U.S. agricultural company's German spokeswoman said Sunday.

"As long as there's not enough demand from farmers for these products and the public at large doesn't accept the technology, it makes no sense to fight against windmills," Ursula Luettmer-Ouazane said Sunday, confirming a report in Berlin-based German daily TAZ newspaper.

Germany media outlet Deutsche Welle (DW) added that the German government has been vocal in its opposition to GMO seeds, as it details in an article, entitled "Monsanto gives up fight for GM plants in Europe."

Indeed, shortly before the big GMO global corporations announced that they were not seeking new EU GMO seed approval at that time, farmers in Hungary had burned up large swaths GMO crop fields in protest. The Hungarian farmers literally lit a fire of populist resistance.

The French ban is retroactive against a Monsanto patented seed that had originally been approved in the nation.

Meanwhile, on the downside of developments, Monsanto, Dupont and Dow Chemicals (a sinister partnership if there ever was one) reversed themselves and sought European Union (EU) approval of a new GMO seed: Pioneer 1507.

Although nineteen EU nations voted against approving Pioneer 1507 -- with five supporting the chemical company trio (and five abstentions) -- the GMO seed will probably be approved by the EU due to a weighted voting system.  (Individual countries could still ban GMO's per the EU operational agreement among members.)

As a website, EurActive.com, covering EU news notes:

In Europe, consumer opposition is strong and environmentalists cite scientific research that has highlighted the impact of a toxin released by 1507 on butterflies and moths.

In contrast to France, the GMO global corporations are deeply ingrained (so to speak) in the United States government, with Monsanto holding more than one key position in Obama Administration policy-making decisions, not to mention the domestic clout of DuPont and Dow Chemical.

One may have to move to France or Hungary if you want governments that stand up to the bully companies that want to monopolize agricultural with altered seeds.

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.