France Doesn’t Play Monsanto’s Game

by Christine O’Brien, Nutrition and Healing

Here in the United States, we might be afraid that Monsanto is going to take over the food supply, but in France, they’re not standing for the food giant’s antics.

This month, the Agricultural Minister in France banned (albeit temporarily) the MON 810 strain of maize, citing that the ban was “to protect the environment.”

The agricultural ministry had previously placed a ban on genetically modified crops from Monsanto in 2008. Concerned about public safety, they didn’t want to take the risk. However, the ban was overturned late last year by the top administrative court in France.

The ministry wouldn’t sit idly by in the face of the overturned ruling, though. They instead focused their efforts on one strain of maize, MON 810, that includes DNA from a bacteria. Monsanto claims it’s resistant to pests. The agricultural ministry, like many of us, fears that the strain could be dangerous to plants, animals, and public safety.

In February, the ecology ministry in France asked the European Commission to suspend authorization of MON 810 crops after a study from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) showed that the genetically modified crops did in fact pose environmental risks.

The members of the Commission refuse to do anything at the moment. They want to hear from the EFSA first. Yeah, I’m not sure why the study wasn’t enough, either.

So France took action on its own. Monsanto countered by saying they weren’t going to sell that strain in France anyway, because they didn’t think France was ready. Or, in other words, “Well, we didn’t want to play with you anyway!”

It sounds like a struggle over there, for sure. But at least France is doing something to fight back against Monsanto. Instead of, you know, handing out top-level FDA positions to former Monsanto execs.

Researchers found that consumption of GMO corn or soybeans may lead to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice – particularly in the liver and kidneys. [1]

Monsanto, the company that brought the world Agent Orange, is also the creator of the best-selling herbicide Roundup, which has spawned over 120 million hectacres of herbicide-resistant superweeds while damaging massive amounts of soil. [2]

Monsanto has created several varieties of “superbugs”. Monsanto engineered genetically modified crops containing Bt, a toxin incorporated in GMO crops which has spawned insect populations which are resistant to the biopesticide. Insect populations have and are mutating to resist the biopesticide. So far at least 8 insect populations have developed resistance, with 2 populations resistant to Bt sprays and at least 6 species resistant to Bt crops as a whole. Farmers are therefore forced to use even more pesticides to combat the resistant bugs. [3]

Monsanto may be destroying the planet’s soil. Certain bacteria essential as “food-starters,” such as L cremoris, used in raw and fermented dairy products have begun to disappear in certain geographic regions. The cause has been found to be an element of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, glyphosate which is destroying and/or altering the microbial biodiversity of the soil, jeopardizing the fertility of the entire biosphere. [4]

Monsanto has been caught running “slave-like” rings, holding off pay and forcing undocumented workers to buy their food only from the Monsanto company store. The company not only ‘hired’ all of the workers illegally, but prevented them from leaving the farm premises and withheld their salaries. [5]

Monsanto effectively owns most US diplomats, and is currently using this political capital to start “Trade Wars” against Nations Opposed to Monsanto’s destructive policies. [6] France, Hungary, and Peru are a few of the countries that have decided stand up to Monsanto with Hungary going as far as destroying 1000 acres of maize found to have been grown with GMOs. Peru has passed a monumental 10 year ban on modified foods and French legislatures are planning to launch new restrictions regarding the use of Monsanto’s 810 maize on French soil. [7]

Monsanto poses one of the greatest threats on the planet to human health and the environment.

Nation of Change is teaming up with activists across the country for an ongoing campaign to fight back against one of the worst corporations in the world.  The first step: raise awareness about Monsanto’s crimes against human health and the environment.


2 thoughts on “France Doesn’t Play Monsanto’s Game

  1. Tom March 30, 2012 / 6:33 am

    The French understand that Monsanto’s only goal is to destroy small farmers and their profits and they’ll never allow them to do this in their country. We should find inspiration in the measures they’ve just taken and do the same thing. According to the latest news Monsanto and other biotechnology giants are now making an attempt to brainwash our children’s minds into accepting their genetically modified foods using blatant lies and propaganda in the form of the “Biotechnology Basics Activity Book” for kids. Moreover, the company has engaged in large-scale lobbying efforts at the state level and even the “independent” judiciary system and its judges are not willing to protect the farmers. As a proponent of organic living in Toronto I am really afraid that Monsanto’s continuous fight against healthy competition will have a detrimental impact on this industry sector in the years to come.


Comments are closed.