GMO-Free Regions: A Growing Global Trend, Except In The United States?

gmo free zones luzern 2009 photo

Photo: GMO-Free Regions, Biodiversity & Rural Development

The fifth GMO-Free Regions conference was held last month in Luzern, Switzerland, with participation from over 30 countries. Monsanto, the biotech juggernaut was absent, but as usual, they didn't miss a beat - the company promptly sued Germany for banning MON 810, the controversial GMO corn variety that isn't very popular anywhere in the world.

If you live in the US, you may instead be hearing Monsanto's message on National Public Radio, as if their other ways of spreading the GMO message aren't enough. Tune in to The Genetic Conspiracy (1/3) - (Youtube) for a change.

gmo free zones japan 2009 image

Image from NO! GMO Campaign/CUJ

Here in Japan, no genetically modified crops are grown commercially. Consumers just hate the stuff, and when it is clearly labelled, some 80% say they will avoid it.

The movement towards GMO-Free Zones is getting stronger year by year.

Consumers Union of Japan notes:

Over 260 regions, more than 4500 municipalities and other local entities and tens of thousands of farmers and food producers in Europe and Japan have declared themselves "GMO-free" expressing their commitment not to allow the use of genetically modified organisms in the agriculture and food in their territories. Since 2005, the movement of GMO Free Regions in Europe holds an annual meeting. Consumers Union of Japan, NO! GMO Campaign, Seikatsu Club and Green Coop participated from Japan this year in Luzern, Switzerland. It was the fifth annual conference with 250 participants from 39 countries.

Delegates to the conference were welcomed by the Speaker of the Swiss National Parliament, the ministers of agriculture of Austria, Scotland and the Czech Republic (which presently holds the EU presidency).

This is great. I just wish the NPR would have been there, talking to people like Renate Künast from Germany, or Carlo Bogliotti, Secretary Slow Food Italia.

Instead, in the United States, all you get is NPR listening to Monsanto. Rather sad, don't you think?

European Conference on GMO-free Regions, Biodiversity and Rural Development

Written by Martin Frid at

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