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GM maize

In anticipation of permanent ban, French agricultural minister reinstates moratorium on Monsanto's GM maize

Sunday, April 06, 2014 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: GM maize, moratorium, France

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(NaturalNews) Try as it might to force genetically altered poison on Western Europe, the biotechnology industry appears to be getting slowly and methodically driven off the entire European continent. New reports indicate that, despite its highest court having already struck down two previous attempts at banning it permanently, France has once again placed a moratorium in its own country on the planting of MON 810, a genetically modified (GM) maize variety produced by Monsanto, in anticipation of a possible bloc-wide ban across the entire European Union (EU).

The only currently approved GM maize variety authorized for planting in the EU, MON 810 has been heavily resisted by environmental groups, farmers and ordinary citizens all across France who do not wish to see their agricultural heritage destroyed by corporation-owned seed technologies. According to RT.com, France's agricultural ministry, defying efforts at the central level to legalize the seed crop, has once again made the decision to apply the precautionary principle with regard to MON 810, banning it until further notice.

"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," reads an emergency statement recently published by the authority. Action needed to be taken, it adds, "given the proximity of the beginning of the planting season."

Climate conditions in France require that maize, which is also known as corn, be planted during the second half of March, a time that is currently upon us. So to prevent GM maize from possibly getting slipped in alongside approved non-GM varieties at the last minute by the European Commission, French authorities instead decided to take matters into their own hands for the protection of French agriculture.

19 other European countries and Russia also strongly against GMOs

The vast majority of Europeans have indicated in survey after survey their unwavering opposition to GMOs. Nineteen other European countries besides France, in fact, have signed on to efforts aimed at banning Pioneer 1507, another variety of GM maize produced by DuPont and Dow Chemical that the European Commission has voted to approve despite widespread public opposition.

"In February 19 EU member states voted against authorizing the cultivation of the crop," explains RT.com. "[B]ut because of so-called comitology voting rules, their votes were insufficient to overturn the votes of bigger member states that were in favor of introducing Pioneer 1507."

Russia is another country that has repeatedly stood against the GMO onslaught for the protection of its people and agricultural system. The latest survey data show that more than 80 percent of Russians oppose GMOs, and the country currently requires all foods containing more than 0.9 percent GMO content to be labeled as such. Efforts are also moving forward in Russia to completely ban GMOs, including both plantings of GM crops and the addition of GM additives to foods sold in the country.

"It seems a very wise decision to me," says Nina Holland of Corporate Europe Observatory, a European research group exposing corporate corruption, as quoted by GMWatch.org, about the possibility of a Russian ban on GMOs. "[W]e are arguing for the same to be done in the EU. The EU doesn't produce many GMOs, just some maize in Spain. So I think it is nice if Russia bans the GMOs -- from both the environmental point of view as well as from the point of view of the independence of farmers."

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