The Lazio Regional Administrative Court in Italy has refuted an Italian farmer’s request to freely sow biotech corn seeds, citing the precautionary principle which allows governments to take protective measures in order to protect human health and the environment without having to wait for the possible risks to become fully realized. (Please note that this piece was reported on using a translated version from GreenBiz.it.)
Giorgio Fidenato brought his request to the court in an attempt to overturn the ban on planting MON810. Opposing Fidenato’s request was a task force comprised of 39 leading associations in agriculture and the environment, such as Coldiretti, Greenpeace, Legambiente, and Slow Food.
The decision upholds an inter-ministerial decree which is used as an emergency measure to protect the environment when needed. The court has essentially told the farmers of Italy that it will not threaten all of agriculture for a few GMO crops.
Quotes may be slightly altered due to lack of proper translation.
Gian Luca Galletti, Minister of the Environment said (translated from Italian):
‘The decision of the Lazio court endorses the actions of the government, and allows increased autonomy of the Member States of the EU relating to GMOs. Now this ban should be implemented with the decision, even taking the penalties prescribed for any violations. Since the beginning, the Ministry of Environment has been in the field, working in close relationship with those of the Health and Agricultural industries: the results being positive.’
Following this ruling it will be easier for states in the EU to determine individually if they want to allow GM crop sewing or to ban it from their overall food production paradigm. The citizens of Italy already heavily oppose GMO crops, and France similarly is taking a stand against the biotech bullies.
At least seventy-six percent of Italians oppose GMO food for its possible detriment to the environmental, and because of the numerous studies which have proven GMOs are also a serious health threat. Italians understand that genetically modified crops can also cause the ‘made in Italy’ dictum to loose credibility and harm the distinctive flavors that have been cultivated there for centuries. In other worlds – don’t mess with Italian’s food!
Stefano Masini environmental manager Coldiretti said:
‘This has been achieved thanks to the mobilization of large groups of environmentalists, farmers, consumers, and co-workers gathered in the coalition Free from GMOs,’ he said in asking the government to ‘clarify which sanctions are to be imposed in case of violation of the ban on the culture in order to avoid situations similar to what happened last summer in Friuli Venezia Giulia, which led to the contamination of adjoining land with those illegally cultivated with maize MON810, as ascertained by the investigations of the State Forestry Corps.’
Vittorio Cogliati Dezza, president of Legambiente, said:
‘This ruling serves primarily to restore the rule of law; no one can cultivate GM crops with impunity in Italy. The Italian Government works to ensure that the European Semester adopts a new regulation allowing Member States to ban GM crops for economic or social reasons.’
Hermes Realacci, chairman of the Commission for the Environment, Land and Public Works of the House:
‘Just the Lazio Regional Administrative Court rejected the appeal, which is frankly preposterous, by Fidenato against the inter-ministerial decree banning the planting of genetically modified maize MON810 in Italy. With the pronouncement today you write a page for the protection of our agriculture and the ‘Made in Italy’ quality. Beyond the environmental and health reasons, in fact, the choice is completely wrong for GMO Italy.
The future of our agriculture is not linked to transgenic organisms, but to the quality, authenticity, and traceability of our products. Agriculture is a sector by Italian Guinness, with its 263 typical products, more than one million hectares conducted organically, and exports in 2013 has set the record 33 billion Euros. A sector that has grown in the sign of quality, which makes an important contribution to the attractiveness of Made in Italy in the world and that can only grow further by choosing the path of excellence.’
Francesco Ferrante, Green candidate on the list Italian European Greens for the next European elections:
‘The decision of the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio dismissing the appeal of the pro GMO farmer is great news for Italian agriculture, which for its quality and uniqueness is famous all over the world. My candidacy with Green Italian European Greens in the European elections sees me involved with the decision to continue this battle against the growing power of multinational GMO and pitfalls of broad agreements in Strasbourg.
Administrative Court relied primarily a question of legality, putting on paper the fact that GMO seed in Italy is a crime. Due to the efforts of the Task Force ‘For an Italy free from GMOs,’ our country can preserve its heritage, and it would be very important that the Italian government during the Presidency of the European Semester is active for the adoption of a new regulation that allows a ban on GM crops in all states of the Union.’
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.