France is not bowing down to GMO giant Monsanto, now asking the European Commission to suspend authorization to Monsanto’s genetically modified corn. The news comes after France charged Monsanto with chemical poisoning after it was found that a farmer had suffered severe adverse health reactions as a result of exposure to Monsanto’s Lasso weedkiller. Despite losing court rulings against Monsanto’s GMO corn, the environment ministry is attempting to fortify a ban on the crops over serious environmental concerns.
France originally banned the growing of the genetically modified corn, known as MON810, in 2008. The strain is currently the only GM crop approved for planting in the European Union, and has been targeted as a serious threat to the environment. The French government said back in November, following the ruling against the attempted ban by the highest court, that it would look at all ways possible to suspend GM planting. Perhaps they have finally found a viable strategy.
The risks posed to the environment by Monsanto’s creations are quite well documented. Monsanto’s GMO crops actually require more pesticides, as ‘mutant’ insects have become resistant to the biopesticide used to ward them off known as Bt. Bt is a toxin incorporated into genetically modified crops in order to kill different insects, however Bt usage has subsequently spawned insect populations which are resistant to the biopesticide. At least 8 populations of insects have developed resistance, with 2 populations resistant to Bt sprays and at least 6 species resistant to Bt crops as a whole.
On another front, Monsanto’s Roundup is creating farmland-crushing super weeds. Heavily resistant to the herbicide that Roundup contains known as glyphosate. These resistant weeds currently cover over 4.5 million hectares in the United States alone. Internationally, experts state that the coverage most likely rose to 120 million hectares by 2010. This places the numerical estimate much higher in 2012.
Is it any wonder why France is taking action against Monsanto and genetically modified foods alike? Nations like Hungary have already taken severe action, ripping up Monsanto’s corn from the very farmlands they were contaminating. We are continuing to see countries, states, and cities standing up against Monsanto’s reckless endangerment of the planet as a whole.