Recently in Warsaw, Polish Agriculture Minister, Marek Sawicki, took a giant stand against international agricultural conglomerate Monsanto and their genetically modified maize (corn) seeds.
In addition to being linked to health ailments, Sawicki said that the pollen originating from this genetically modified strain may actually be devastating the already dwindling bee population.
Poland will eliminate the growing of MON-810 a genetically modified maize product. “The decree is in the works and it introduces a complete ban,” said Sawicki.
Similar opposition to Monsanto occurred on March 9th, when seven European countries blocked a proposal by the Danish EU presidency which would permit the cultivation of genetically modified plants on the entire continent. It was France, who in February, lead the charge against genetically modified plants. They asked the European Commission to suspend authorization to Monsanto’s genetically modified corn. The country also settled a landmark case over Monsanto, finding the biotech company guilty of chemical poisoning.
Paul Francois, a French grain grower, says he developed neurological problems including memory loss and headaches after being exposed to Monsanto’s Lasso weed killer back in 2004. The monumental case may pave the way for legal action against Monsanto’s Roundup and other harmful herbicides and pesticides made by other manufacturers.
In the Lyon (southeast France) court case, Francois stated that Monsanto failed to provide proper warnings on the Lasso weed killer product label which resulted in neurological problems such as memory loss and headaches. The court ordered an expert opinion to determine the sum of the damages, and to verify the link between Lasso and the reported illnesses. The result was a guilty charge, paving the way for further legal action on behalf of other injured farmers.
Currently it has been popular to take a stand against Monsanto, with nations like Hungary destroying 1000 acres of genetically modified maize. India has also charged Monsanto with bio-piracy. The charges were brought against Monsanto for utilizing a local eggplant variety to develop their own genetically modified version fused with the notorious bio-pesticide Bt. Monsanto’s Bt genetically modified crops are known to threaten the environment and human health. India considers Monsanto’s unauthorized testing of the crops to be a crime.
Talks regarding growing any genetically modified crops on EU soil will continue as no majority of the 27 member states has emerged.
Monsanto has had a long history of chemical contamination controversies, some being DDT, Agent Orange and the milk producing Bovine Somatotropin Posilac. Monsanto headquartered in Missouri did not respond to a request for comments.
Throughout America, Wal-Mart is planning to sell genetically modified corn by the whole ear in its produce sections this summer. There has been no announcement from Wal-Mart that they will label this corn as being from Monsanto seed crops. Recent consumer pressure has induced Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and General Mills, not use Monsanto’s genetically modified sweet corn in any of their products.
By Raymond Rolak