Monsanto gives up on Europe? Would be great – but rejoicing is premature

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 These have not been withdrawn.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.’

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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15 Responses to Monsanto gives up on Europe? Would be great – but rejoicing is premature

  1. May I reblog this?

  2. Reblogged this on bearspawprint and commented:
    “Monsanto will participate in the negotiations on a free trade agreement with the European Commission on 18 June.” quoted from the body of the post.

    • argylesock says:

      Do you know of anything that we, ordinary people, can do to influence these trade talks? I’m feeling annoyed because it seems as though Monsanto has found a loophole which it chooses to exploit.

      • The loophole is money. I don’t have any. Public protest, petitions and withholding money by not buying affiliated products + public education. Slow. Too slow. Once the genie is loose, who knows what will happen. There is the off chance that some organism won’t thrive. Hopefully. But if everything else is dead, what good is that? And there is the vacuum left by so many pathogens being eradicated (or nearly so) leaving a blank space for some sort of culling agent. Too bad we can’t just use common sense instead of promoting so many nasty quality of life wreckers. However. You are not an ordinary person. You are more accomplished and knowledgeable than most. Bet there’s a “think tank” somewhere not too far from you, that could use your goodness and special brand of genius.—– just some thoughts—–Bear

        • argylesock says:

          If I find an opportunity to take action, I don’t promise to be able to leave my house (disability) but I’ll blog about whatever I learn.

          • it is amazing how forcing our brains to use alternate routes allows us to look at the same ole same ole in new and novel ways. A shining the light at a slightly different angle sometimes illuminates the whole with surprises.

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