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Intro: "France's attempt to ban the planting of a Monsanto strain of genetically modified maize was rejected by the EU's food safety body on Monday."

A protester destroys GM trial crops near Dorset in 2000. (photograph: Simon Chapman)
A protester destroys GM trial crops near Dorset in 2000. (photograph: Simon Chapman)

French Ban of Monsanto GM Maize Rejected by EU

By Adam Vaughan, Guardian UK

23 May 12


rance's attempt to ban the planting of a Monsanto strain of genetically modified maize was rejected by the EU's food safety body on Monday.

In response to scientific evidence submitted by France backing its bid to ban the GM maize, the European Food Safety Authority ruled that "there is no specific scientific evidence, in terms of risk to human and animal health or the environment" to support a ban.

In 2008, France banned the the strain MON 810 following public protests against the GM maize, but this was overturned by a French court in 2011. However, in March the French government reinstated the ban, with the then agricultural minister Bruno Le Maire saying the move was "to protect the environment".

The Monsanto-owned strain, marketed as YieldGard by the US company, is an insect-resistant strain of maize that was introduced in 1997.

In its verdict on Monday, Efsa said that much of the scientific evidence in France's new submission in January had already been included in a previous 2008 submission to the agency, which concluded at the time "that no specific scientific evidence, in terms of risk to human and animal health or the environment, was provided that would justify the invocation of a safeguard clause [ban]". It added that no new scientific work had been submitted that suggested there was risk to the environment, either.

A spokesman for Europe's health commissioner, John Dalli, told the AFP news agency that the EU executive "will consider how to follow up on this ruling, though technically we could ask France to raise its ban [on the Monsanto strain]".

The ruling follows a renewed focus on GM food in the UK, with researchers making a plea to anti-GM activists not to rip up a test site of GM wheat. On Sunday, Hector Christie, an old Etonian farmer, was arrested for breaking into the Rothamsted Research site where the wheat is being grown and cutting the top off several plants. your social media marketing partner


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0 # WestWinds 2012-05-23 10:00
>>>French Ban of Monsanto GM Maize Rejected by EU
+31 # Tango-Tensity 2012-05-23 10:16
I consider myself to be an ordinary guy... and many of the people in my life are also ordinary people... Now, if we know that these GM products are no good... and that the companies that produce them are in it for money and world domination... not the ending of hunger... then why do we still even have these people in power acting so ignorant... or at least, neglectful of what most people know and want...?!? Why is GM products still even a subject...? why is nuclear power stations still a subject...?!?
Let's end the madness... i say: "The citizens of every country should OCCUPY EVERYTHING!!!.. ..." 'cause the people in power are not ordinary... and instead of being extra-ordinary like Ghandi... they've proven to be extra-ordinary like Charles Manson... let's rid ourselves of these psychopaths! i bet ordinary people with common sense - a sense of "ubuntu" -could do a far better job. We are all so tired of this crapp... it must end now!
AMERICA please vote for ROSANNE BARR!!!
+30 # TurboKitty 2012-05-23 10:18
Of course it's rejected ... there are 5 corporations that own pretty much the entire globe ... =(
+29 # MJnevetS 2012-05-23 10:34
I know an old lady who swallowed GM Maize,
I don't know why she swallowed GM Maize,
She must be crazed.

I know an old lady who swallowed pesticide called bacillus thuringiensis and she now has it inside; she swallowed pesticide cause it's in GM Maize, I don't know why she swallowed GM Maize, She must be crazed.

I know an old lady who had a toxic reaction, such a distraction that toxic reaction. She had a toxic reaction because she swallowed pesticide called bacillus thuringiensis and she now has it inside; she swallowed pesticide cause it's in GM Maize, I don't know why she swallowed GM Maize, She must be crazed.

I know an old lady who has liver and kidney lesions, must be the season for liver and kidney lesions. She developed the lesions because of the toxic reaction, she had the toxic reaction because she swallowed pesticide called bacillus thuringiensis which she now has inside; she swallowed pesticide which is in GM Maize, I don't know why she swallowed GM Maize, She must be crazed.

I know an old lady who finally asked why: For Monsanto profits, why should I die? We'll never know why!
+6 # Bluesyinohio 2012-05-23 15:04
Great way to get the message across. Maybe if the leaders of the EU know anything about nursery songs they might finally get the picture.

Good job MJnevetS. 8-D
+14 # nancyw 2012-05-23 11:02
This world is just too crazy. When will it end? So depressing. Yes Occupy everything! Vote with what you shop for. Make sure you buy organic / non-gmo and ask your grocery store to stock more organic / non-gmo.
+20 # jwb110 2012-05-23 11:06
This is one more nail in the European Union coffin.
+3 # Bob P 2012-05-23 13:46
Before gmo products were improved by a trial and error method of mutation-select ive breeding. Side reactions required more trial and error. We never tested nutritional impact to my knowledge. Now we can target a specific gene to give us the desired result. That seems like real progress to me.

But I do see a problem. Gmo is more expensive so capital rich corporations can use it better than small, family, or subsistence farmers. So instead of making the poor richer, we make the rich richer. More suffering!

Developing super bugs or weeds has always been the case but we can speed up that process also which adds to the expense of more gmo's.

I could probably use more information, but I see mostly emotional responses rather than informative responses. At this point I see more of a capitalistic-gl obalization problem than a food quality problem.

Teach me!
+3 # Kev C 2012-05-24 15:28
There has never been any long term independent research into the harmful effects of consuming GM food, either by animals or humans. However the few short term experiments did show that there was cause for serious concern when rats, mice and hamsters all developed serious major organ failures and malfunctions along with immune deficiency issues and a lot of other things like lesions in their liver and kidneys. Now to my mind there is serious concern for the safety of this stuff but Monsanto will not permit any independent research claiming intellectual property rights and patent protection. Which is all total bullshit and eyewash. The patent itself is the protection from intellectual property theft.
+2 # Kev C 2012-05-24 15:29
However there is another issue that is seriously under reported and that is the impact of horizontal gene transfer which was proven to happen even after just one meal of GM food.
You also talk about it being a capitalistic-gl obalization problem. Well yes it is. They intended originally to control the entire global food production system and therefore dictate who ate and who didn't. Now to my mind it has absolutely nothing to do with Monsanto or any other biotech company what food I eat. It is my concern. I remain the sole decider when it comes to the food I wish to eat and I choose to eat organic food because this is the best and most sustainable way to live with regards the planets finite resources. Monsanto don't give a shit about the planet.
+2 # Kev C 2012-05-24 15:30
As for the idea that the original way we cross bred plants and animals being trial and error what we got out of it all at the end of the day was a very stable and reliable crop until we developed another more effective variety. With GM crops they are unstable and created by firing the desired gene segment into the host seed. It ends up wherever it happens to end up. There is even less control over the process than with traditional cross breeding which incidentally is not Genetic modification as some people seem wont to suggest time and again.
GM is GM whilst cross breeding is cross breeding. They are not even remotely similar in any way.

Also of importance is the fact that no GM crop has ever produced anywhere as much yield per hectare as conventional farming has. And to call chemical agriculture 'conventional' is totally wrong in my opinion.
Also of note is the fact that the GM crops continue to require more pesticides and herbicides beyond the ones we usually associate with GM crops because of other deficiencies of the GM crops. They also still require lots of fertiliser which is currently on its last legs. By 2030/1 the last mineral phosphate deposits will have been extracted from the last known natural reserves and that will signal the end of phosphorus for plant growing, We cannot manufacture phosphorus which is an essential mineral for all plants to grow.
+3 # Kev C 2012-05-24 15:31
Finally we have absolutely no need to develop GM crops or animals to 'feed the starving millions' as every poodle politician keeps screaming at us. In 2008 the entire planetary food production was sufficient to feed 12 billion people. Ask Olivier de Schutter, UN special rapporteur who wrote the report 'The Right to Food' in 2009/10. He discovered this fact during his research. Also Hans Herren produced a paper on sustainable agriculture which appeared during the same time period. People would be well advised to read both to get a better idea of what is really at stake.
So you see there is an agenda. It is not about helping to feed or nurture or protect. It is about control and profits and that is bad enough and justifiable reason to ban the damn stuff forever. No-one should hold the rest of the planetary populations to ransom regardless of their reasons.
+12 # jederfr7 2012-05-23 16:30
Who wants to eat a plant that the strongest
pesticide can't kill ?? Would you want to feed that to your children ??
+2 # Kev C 2012-05-24 15:04
To right I wouldn't want to eat it. However I would make every top manager of Monsanto eat it and nothing else. That way we could prove just how dangerous the stuff really is.
+1 # Kathymoi 2012-05-24 14:54
What is the EU's interest in promoting Monsanto's Monsanto-depend ant products?
---What is the connection?
It's not good for French farmers or for French consumers? Who benefits from Monsanto's growing monopoly on the world's foood supply?
+1 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-05-25 17:50
It's imposed by WTO through the EU.
That's the reason I voted NO to the EU "constitution" that was proposed to us Europans in 2005: not only did it specify the way decisions were made but also what decisions were made.
Ireland and France voted it down, but the technocrats chnaged it a little, renamed it and accepted it... without asking Us the People.
+3 # Kev C 2012-05-24 15:03
I can't see why they claim that there is no harm proven when everyone already knows that unless you actually can identify the GM components within the crop you cannot even begin to analyse the impacts and effects on humans and animals. That is why Monsanto won't let anyone independently test and research these GM crops. The secret would be out of the bag in a flash and Monsanto would be exposed as the fraudulent and malicious corporation that they really are.
Oh and their poodle politicians would be exposed as well.

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