Nearly two weeks from now, on 18th June, the biotechnology company Monsanto will participate in negotiations on a free trade agreement with the European Commission. So when I crowed about Monsanto giving up on Europe and several people said that you don’t trust Monsanto (nor do I), caution may have been the right response.
In its newsletter today, GM Watch says this.
‘The news that Monsanto doesn’t plan to apply for the approval of new GM seeds in Europe due to low demand from farmers and opposition from the public has been met with understandable rejoicing and a slew of excitable media articles.
‘But along with the rejoicing, we should remember some hard facts. At the moment in Europe Monsanto has 11 applications for GMOs for cultivation in the pipeline, including the maize MON810, which is due for re-registration. Monsanto has 46 applications for GMOs for import as food and feed. These have not been withdrawn. So Monsanto has certainly not given up on Europe.
‘For all future applications, Monsanto has a much more promising route to get its GMOs into Europe, other than submitting them to the slow and problematic (for Monsanto) European approval process.
‘Monsanto will participate in the negotiations on a free trade agreement with the European Commission on 18 June.
‘The free trade talks will focus on elimination of non-tariff barriers to trade and the mutual recognition of standards. This means that the US will insist on bypassing Europe’s labelling laws for GM products. The US will also insist on automatic approval of GM crops, as the US has always practiced. This will suit the GM companies perfectly, enabling them to gain rapid and unquestioning market access in Europe for their GM products.
‘We need to keep up the pressure on our MEPs to tell the Commission to keep GMOs firmly off the table in these talks.’