September 17, 2012
In another massive victory against Monsanto and the spread of genetically modified crops, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayraul has announced that the nation will be maintaining a key ban on the only remaining GMO currently allowed in Europe. Known as Monsanto’s GMO maize crops, or MON810 maize, the original ban was brought forth back in March following the French court’s previous annulment on a November ban.
Thanks to activism by French citizens and serious political outcry, Monsanto is now effectively blocked from Europe’s gigantic marketplace. This is even more true when you consider the fact that France is the largest grower of crops in all of Europe, making it an agricultural behemoth of sorts. With this move by such a large and influential nation, it will surely lead to similar legislation to pop up and succeed throughout the rest of the globe. Of course like with most other decisions regarding Monsanto, even Reuters admits (see first link) that France was under large amounts of pressure to ‘soften’ its stance on GMOs.
This is due to the fact that Monsanto has significant pull when it comes to government around the globe, with the United States in particular being the ‘launch pad’ for the biotechnology movement. We now know thanks to WikiLeaks, in fact, that United States ambassadors have actually threatened nations opposed to Monsanto’s GMO maize crops, going as far as to threaten them with ‘military-style trade wars’. When considering that this is but one leak, it is very concerning.
France has really been leading the charge against Monsanto and going against the political pressure, however, also finding Monsanto guilty of ‘chemical poisoning’ earlier this year. According to the prime minister, the ruling was also part a wider plan to reduce the use of chemicals in farming.
Overall, many countries have taken action against Monsanto and its many harmful creations. Peru has banned Monsanto’s GMOs for a total of 10 years, Hungary uprooted the company’s crops from its farmland, and even California is seeking to label GMOs this November. From Agent Orange (known to kill 400,000 and cause 500,000 plus birth defects) to GMO maize, Monsanto’s time for experimentation may soon be up.