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GMO ban

French senator introduces draft law to ban all GM maize cultivation

Monday, February 17, 2014 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: GMO ban, GM maize, French senator

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(NaturalNews) Following a high court ruling back in August that overturned a ban on the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) corn in France, a French senator has now introduced new legislation to effectively reinstate and extend this ban. Reuters reports that a member of the ruling Socialist party has submitted a draft law calling for the outlaw of not only Monsanto's MON 810 GM maize, but also all other existing and future iterations of transgenic corn that might be introduced.

The bill comes as the European Commission is right now considering the approval of Pioneer 1507, a new insect-resistant variety of GM corn developed jointly by DuPont and Dow Chemical. Advocates say that, if approved, Pioneer 1507 would break up the current monopoly on GM corn held by Monsanto, which is the sole provider of GM corn in Europe's limited market for GM crops.

But intense pressure to block the approval of Pioneer 1507, coupled with France's longstanding rejection of GMOs, is obstructing the plans of these major biotech players. If enacted, the Socialist party's bill would prohibit all future plantings of GM maize within the borders of France, which is currently the European Union's largest grain producer. It would also require that all existing GM maize crops be destroyed.

"GMO is a useless waste of effort," wrote one commenter on RT.com about the issue. "Nature already started to adapt to GMO genes by introducing new pests and new weeds which are resistant to it. Never will GMO be more 'effective' than natural agriculture simply because it introduces imbalances which will require compensation."

Pioneer 1507 shown to damage butterflies, other pollinators

This is one of the primary issues that lawmakers in France who are opposed to GMOs in general, and GM maize specifically, have expressed in support of the new bill. Citing recent studies put out by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) that counteract claims made by the biotech industry concerning the safety of GMOs, many officials say allowing more GMOs to enter the market would be nothing short of imprudent.

"The risk assessments from [EFSA] show that highly sensitive butterflies and moths may be at risk when exposed to maize 1507 pollen," explains a recent European Parliament report highlighting a complete lack of evidence proving the safety of GM maize. "Yet, Pioneer refused to present additional documents regarding monitoring and risk mitigating measures for these non-target species."

In other words, Pioneer 1507 is just another corporate food crop that poses immense dangers to the natural pollinators that help provide us with food and sustenance. Like Monsanto, DuPont and Dow Chemical are attempting to force approval for a GM crop that has the potential to decimate the entire agricultural system of France and the greater EU.

"[T]he lack of evidence provided by the industry on the safety of new GM crops does not help to dispel EU citizens' recurring doubts on GMOs," adds the report. "This is why for the time being the majority (61%), of Europeans are opposed to the development of GM food in Europe.... They consider GMOs as not offering benefits, as unsafe, as inequitable and as worrying."

According to Reuters, the proposed French law to ban all GM maize could be voted on by the Senate as soon as February 17, after which it will be passed down to the lower house. If implemented, the bill would provision that inspectors monitor the removal and destruction of all GM maize crops currently being grown in France.

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