DANGEROUS CORN: German Government Bans Variety of Corn Modified by Monsanto
By Christopher J. Petherick
The head of the German agriculture department has issued new guidelines that effectively ban a type of genetically modified corn, which has been made in a laboratory by scientists at biotech giant Monsanto.
The variety of corn, called “MON 810” and sold under its trade name “Yield Guard,” has been altered on a genetic level, making it resistant to the corn borer, a moth larva that consumes the plant and kills it.
MON 810 is grown extensively around the world. According to Agbios, an online database on genetically modified crops, more than 32 million acres in the United States has been planted with this type of GM corn.
Germany is following in the footsteps of several other EU countries—Austria, Hungary, Greece, France and Luxembourg—which have already banned it in spite of threats of sanctions from globalist groups.
Citing a move in Luxembourg in early April to ban the cultivation of MON 810, German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner announced that the German government was taking steps to prohibit farmers from planting the corn.
The two governments based their mandates on European studies that suggest a particular toxin, called Bt, added to the corn on a genetic level may be fatal to “non-target organisms,” such as ladybugs. Ladybugs and other predator bugs eat pests such as moths and beetles.
A symptom of modern agriculture, the heavy use of pesticides has resulted in a never-ending cycle, where good and bad insects are indiscriminately killed and the natural cycle is thrown out of balance.
Worse still, German officials cited research showing that pollen from corn spreads much farther than previously thought. Since corn is pollinated by wind-borne pollen, the concern is that neighboring non-GM corn could become contaminated by genetic material from the Frankenfoods, which blow for miles in the wind.
This is substantiated by many organic growers, who contend that it is becoming more and more difficult to find truly heirloom, organic seeds that have not been tainted by genetically modified crops.
“I have come to the conclusion there are just reasons to assume that the genetically modified [corn] MON 810 represents a danger for the environment,” Ms. Aigner, a member of the conservative Bavaria-based Christian Social Union, told reporters. “Therefore, the cultivation of MON 810 is now banned in Germany.”
Critics of genetically modified foods have pointed to several studies, which indicate that foods modified in a laboratory at a genetic level can be hazardous to your health. One recent study in Europe has shown that GM corn fed to rats resulted in rampant infertility. Those that did reproduce suffered from low birth weights for offspring.
Not surprisingly, the billion-dollar biotech corporation has responded by suing Germany over the ban. In the suit, Monsanto insists that its product, which has been approved by the EU, is “safe to use.”
“We are disappointed and frankly, we don’t believe that they have justification to warrant this,” Brad Mitchell, a spokesman for Monsanto, told a U.S. newspaper. “They have cited unconvincing evidence that it is unsafe. . . . But the scientific committee of the European Union approved it.”
The EU has responded by saying that Germany is within its rights to ban GM corn, but has issued a threat saying it will block the German government if it uncovers evidence that Germany has banned GM corn because it is pursuing “protectionist trade measures.”
Still, even if Monsanto fails to overturn Germany’s ruling, the U.S. based corporation can appeal to the global trade body, the World Trade Organization, which Germany is a member of. This could result in penalties
and trade sanctions being imposed on the country.
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(Issue # 23 & 24, June 8 & 15, 2009)