Monsanto Promises Pain to EU, Assault Underway
July 10 2012
- The European Commission has issued a proposal to drop the policy of zero tolerance for unapproved and untested GMOs in food; the proposal suggests setting a threshold below which contaminated imports could enter Europe’s food chain
- In 2011, the EU decided to allow contamination with up to 0.1 percent of unapproved and untested GMOs in animal feed, which was previously not allowed
- France recently asked the European Commission to suspend Monsanto’s authorization to plant genetically modified MON 810 corn, but the EU stepped in and blocked the ban
- GM opponents are urging the EU to reject the proposals, noting the pressure to drop their zero tolerance policy regarding GM contamination is coming from the U.S. government, the WTO (World Trade Organization) and the biotech industry
By Dr. Mercola
The European Union (EU) has historically taken a strict, cautious stance regarding genetically modified (GM) crops, much to the chagrin of Monsanto and in stark contract to the United States.
For instance, while GM crops are banned in several European countries, and all genetically modified foods and ingredients have to be labeled, this is in stark contrast to the U.S., where Monsanto has effectively restricted any unfavorable legal actions because of the massive conflict they have with federal regulatory agencies.
Recently Connecticut and Vermont where ready to pass statewide GMO labeling requirements but backed out at the last minute when biotech giant Monsanto threatened to sue them if it was passed.
As a result, the U.S. has only recently begun passing legislation that protects the use of GM seeds and allows for unabated expansion, in addition to the fact that GM ingredients do not have to be labeled.
It’s quite clear that the U.S. government, which is closely tied to Monsanto, has been aiding and abetting Monsanto’s tireless and often ruthless quest to control the world’s food crops.
U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, showed the government even conspired to find ways to retaliate against Europe for refusing to use GM seeds, mainly by engaging in aggressive trade wars against reluctant nations.i As you might suspect, the EU has been under heavy pressure to add some slack to their GM regulations – and it seems they are about to cave …
EU Proposes to Drop Zero Tolerance Policy
The European Commission has issued a proposal to drop the policy of zero tolerance for unapproved and untested GMOs in food. The proposal suggests setting a threshold below which contaminated imports could enter Europe’s food chain.
This is similar to the EU’s move in 2011 … they once had a zero tolerance policy regarding GM contamination from unapproved GMOs in animal feed, but last year decided to allow contamination with up to 0.1 percent of such materials. At the time, Greenpeace EU agriculture policy adviser Stefanie Hundsdorfer said:ii
“If the safety of a GM crop has not been tested in Europe, it should not be allowed. Setting a tolerance threshold, however low, is a sign that Europe is losing control over its own food production to please American exporters. The danger now is that EU countries come under pressure from the pro-GM lobby to also allow GM contamination in food products for direct human consumption.”
And, alas, that moment has come, just over one year later. Several GM opponents are urging the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Secretary of State Caroline Spelman to reject the proposals, noting:iii
“Pressure to drop the zero tolerance policy comes from the US government, the WTO and the biotech industry.”
EU Blocks France’s Ban on GM Corn
France recently asked the European Commission to suspend Monsanto’s authorization to plant genetically modified MON 810 corn, citing “significant risks for the environment” shown in recent scientific studies (Germany has also banned the cultivation of MON 810 corn).
The EU stepped in and blocked the ban, which was an unsettling move to put it mildly, considering that in a leaked cable from 2007, Craig Stapleton, who was the U.S. ambassador to France at the time, commented on France’s plan to ban the cultivation of GM corn, and stated that retaliation would occur:
“Europe is moving backwards not forwards on this issue with France playing a leading role, along with Austria, Italy and even the [European] Commission… Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voice.
… Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits. The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory.”
UK Also Moving Full Steam Ahead with GMOs
to read more, go to: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/07/10/drop-gmo-zero-tolerance-policy.aspx?e_cid=20120710_DNL_artNew_2