Last November, French authorities lifted a longtime ban that prohibited French farmers from planting MON810, a move that spurred nationwide backlash and protest
On the heels of ongoing, massive protests against genetically modified organisms (GMOs), French agricultural officials have announced that plantings of Monsanto's MON810 GM corn, which contains built-in Bt toxin, will no longer be permitted within France. Reports explain that the moratorium is only temporary, but since there is no indication that opposition to the "Frankencorn" will cease anytime soon, the ban could last indefinitely.
Last November, French authorities lifted a longtime ban that prohibited French farmers from planting MON810, a move that spurred nationwide backlash and protest. But less than six months later, the voices of the people have spoken so loudly that the ban has now been reinstated as a "precautionary measure" in order to "protect the environment."
"Due to the proximity of the planting season [authorities have] decided to take a precautionary measure to temporarily prohibit the cultivation of maize MON810 on the national territory to protect the environment," said a press release issued by French Agricultural Minister Bruno Le Maire and Minister for Ecology and Sustainable Development Francois Fillon.
Back in 2010, Germany also banned Monsanto's MON810 for the same environmental and health reasons. And Austria, Hungary, and Luxembourg, and of course France have all individually banned MON810 as well, despite the fact that the European Union approved its cultivation within EU borders back in 1998.
In the United States, however, MON810 is widely planted, even though its effectiveness in resisting the Western rootworm beetle has waned significantly over the years. According to reports, the Western rootworm beetle has already developed complete resistance to MON810 in at least eleven U.S. states, and the problem is only expected to get progressively worse.
Meanwhile, studies continue to roll in showing that MON810, as well as many other GMO varieties, are responsible for causing organ damage, infertility, neurological damage, and gastrointestinal dysfunction, among other problems. And GMOs with multiple stacked traits, including those with Bt toxin, have also been shown to be exponentially more harmful than those with just one genetic modification.
Environmental and human health concerns; insect and weed resistance; and loss of biodiversity caused by GMO agricultural technologies have all become so severe that a group of 22 corn entomologists who would normally support GM corn recently sent a letter to the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) warning that one solution to this escalating problem is to begin planting non-GMO crops.