photo: Grüne Baden-Württemberg/Creative Commons
More from Wikileaks of interest to the environmentally-minded, shedding light on the mindset of the Bush administration on the European Union's actions on genetically modified crops: US Ambassador to France recommended the US "calibrate a target list that causes some pain across the EU" because both government and citizens were opposed to GM crops. Jeffrey Smith, writing in Huffington Post (listen to Democracy Now!'s conversation with Smith):
The stated reason for their attack was that "Europe is moving backwards not forwards" on GMOs, with "France playing a leading role, along with Austria, Italy and even the [EU] Commission." The Ambassador was concerned that France and others would put a ban on the cultivation of Monsanto's GM corn seeds called Mon 810, engineered with a gene that produces a toxic insect-killing pesticide in every cell. Mon 810 is the first GM crop approved for planting EU-wide and has been a test case for biotech expansionism into the continent.
According to the cable, the Ambassador also rejected the France's new "Grenelle" environment process, which looks beyond just the science of new technologies to also take into account "common interest." Evidently a government that looks out for common interest is just too much for Ambassador Stapleton. He wrote, "Combined with the precautionary principle, this is a precedent with implications far beyond MON-810 BT corn cultivation."
The long-rotating revolving door between big agribusiness and US government is well documented, so this reaction shouldn't come as a large surprise to anyone. As is the case with the Bush administration being unhappy with the anti-GM movement, which tried to force open the European market to GM crops via a WTO lawsuit.
Above all, take this as a reminder that GM crops are far far more about big business and big profits for their developers than they are about increasing crop yields, feeding more people either in rich or poor nations, or developing climate-resistant agriculture. GM crops are about power and money above all else, full stop.
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More on GM Crops:
Ireland Says Not in this Country: Bans Genetically Modified Crops
India Suspends First GM Food Crop Introduction - Environment Minister Wants More Tests
GM Cotton Fails - Insect Pests Thriving on Indian Plants When They Should Be Dead
Why GMO Foods Have Failed at Producing Healthy Food for More People