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France Makes Bold Move to Ban Monsanto's Genetically Modified Crops

written by: Niki Fears•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 10/31/2008

France bans genetically modified foods such as maize from Monsanto.

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    frenchflag In a bold move to protect citizens and the environment from genetically modified organisms known as GMO's, particularly food crops such as corn, France is issuing a ban on Monsanto's corn products and other genetically modified crops.

    The move, which is drawing fire from special interest groups powered by the Monsanto bioengineering machine, could also require a new regulation, known as a “safety clause” into European law which would eliminate all commercial use of Monsanto's modified maze known as MON 810. The EU is seeking to reverse the ban due to pressures from Monsanto and their related farmers and industries; however, many French citizens support this move along with consumer activists and environmental groups.

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    Why Monsanto?

    The ban specifically sites Monsanto crops because MON810 is the only GMO that has been approved for commercial food production within the EU; a situation which many contend is a result of Monsanto's influence on the EU as well as the WTO (World Trade Organization). Monsanto has also come under fire by many other groups for their practices and products that are deemed unfair to farmers and unsafe for human consumption and the environment.

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    The Problem With Genetically Modified Crops?

    To despite claims made by Monsanto and the GMO industry, many advocacy and environmental groups have warned about the maize dangers of genetically modified crops which, according to a report from the Organic Consumers Association “have been linked to thousands of toxic and allergenic reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals”. Since many of the injected genes that are found in genetically modified crops come from sources such as bacteria and viruses not natural to the food consumed by humans, we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to health problems associated with GMO's. It is also contended that the nutritional value of engineered foods are substantially less than what is found in crops that are produced naturally. It is these concerns that worry many French citizens which are in support of the ban.

    GMO's not only present problems for human health, but the ecological toll of genetically interfering with crops and other organisms take a terrible toll on the environment as well, driving out natural species, cross contaminating natural vegetation, creating more aggressive species, among other yet unknown problems.

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    Monsanto's Cafeteria GMO Free

    The same concerns were raised a couple of years ago when workers at Monsanto's plant at its UK headquarters refused to eat the food in the cafeteria because of concerns over the safety of Monsanto engineered food, which has become known as frankenfood by many activists. Initially Monsanto tried to fight the boycott and force workers to eat the food with GMO's but eventually lost the battle and handed the matter over to another food service, Granada Food Services, which has claimed to serve only foods that are GMO free in the company cafeteria. For many, this is yet another sign that there is something wrong with, and unsafe about, Monsanto's engineered food.

    Hopefully, France will be able to maintain the ban and other nations, such as the US and other EU countries, will eventually follow France's lead and can shut down businesses such as Monsanto and the GMO industry before more harm is done to our health and the environment.