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Germany to Join Other European Countries in Ban Against Monsanto’s Genetically Modified MON 810 Corn

GMO Corn Maize MON 810In the European Union, there is only one permissible genetically-modified crop — and that is Monsanto’s MON 810 engineered corn.  But current law allows individual countries to bar the production of genetically-modified crops, and the MON 810 ban has been gaining momentum throughout the continent. This is despite the European Union’s continuous fight to force GM production, such as in the recent failed attempt to overturn Austria and Hungary’s ban.

Late last month, Luxembourg joined Hungary, France, Austria and Greece in banning Monsanto’s corn.  According to Luxembourg’s Health Minister Mars Di Bartolomeo, studies addressing the grain’s safety have failed to “conclude that MON810 is completely innocuous”.

Yesterday, Germany brought the number of dissenting countries to six by also banning MON 810.  German Agriculture Minister, Ilse Aigner, went a step beyond Luxembourg’s position, and stated outright that she feels “there are just reasons to assume that the genetically modified maize MON 810 represents a danger for the environment.”

Not surprisingly, Monsanto disagrees.  Brad Mitchell, Monsanto spokesperson, said that the company was “disappointed and frankly, we don’t believe that they [Germany] have justification to warrant this.” He went on to argue that studies in the European Union had already proven MON 810’s safety.

While it’s true that the European Food Safety Authority originally gave the go ahead on MON 810’s production, it’s also true that the European Union is currently re-examining that decision, particularly focusing on any negative long-term effects the genetically modified crop might have.

Monsanto continues to insist the corn itself is safe. German Monsanto head Ursula Luettmer-Ouazane added that the corn is “safe for human health, animals and the environment.”  But that doesn’t jive with a recent study out of Austria, which showed mice who were fed Monsanto’s genetically-engineered corn demonstrated measurably damaged fertility.

That doesn’t sit well with Ilse Aigner, Germany’s Agriculture Minister.  “Genetic engineering must include a complete guarantee of the security for person, animal, plant and environment”, she declared.

And in light of current data, such a guarantee does not exist.

RELATED: EU Upholds Austria, Hungary’s Right to Ban Genetically Modified MON 810 Maize

Image via tillwe on Flickr under a Creative Commons License

6 comments
  1. russ

    “Germany’s Agriculture Minister. “Genetic engineering must include a complete guarantee of the security for person, animal, plant and environment”, she declared.”

    Can you do that for any ‘natural’ food?

    Just a greeenie blowing little bubbles of stuff in the air (greenie pollution).

    Do you not realize that virtually all crops around the world grown over the past 50 years are the product of genetic breeding?

    That all virtually all flowers in the yard and trees are mutants? Created by an older method but non the less you didn’t find them in nature!

  2. Gina Munsey

    Hi Russ, thanks for the feedback. As far as your mention of mutant plants around the world — I would venture to say that the types of cross breeding and natural selection that occur in the wild are quite different than, say, a corporation choosing to insert a pesticide-resistant gene into a plant.

    And yes, I agree that it’s impossible to guarantee safety. However, I believe that genetic engineering falls under the Precautionary Principle. Scientific consensus has failed to show that genetically modified crops *aren’t* harmful. In the absence of such a consensus, potential risk — to humans, animals and the environemnt — is assumed, and it’s irresponsible to proceed.

  3. Uncle B

    Keep in mind when making decisions concerning large American and Multi-national “Corporations” They are obliged by law to psycho-socio-pathically do the best thing possible for the share-holder, by whom they are employed! The share holder can be a soulless “Numbered Company” itself, with none other than a profitable return mandate. These corporate monsters do not have human responses, feelings judgments or senses of preservation! They are a disembodiment of human rights, designed to facilitate making money for their “no-personal liability” owners. The world is in great danger! Look what these monsters have done to the richest country in the world in under 200 years! George Bush’s regime gave these monsters free reign and in 8 years they decimated the richest country in the world and brought on world wide depression, to enrichen a very few coffers with gold! the “Corporation” is to be much feared in human affairs, and we must never expect something for the common good from them, they are mandated and sworn to profit for shareholders no matter what their P.R. and advertising says! The day you forget this fact, is the day they rejoice, and slay you if necessary for a % point on paper!

  4. Funny Bone

    6 billion people on the planet and that number’s growing every day. Sooner or later we’ll need to find ways to grow more food. I fail to see the issue here.

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