By Christina Sarich, previously published on Nation of Change
First India gives Monsanto a run for their ill-gotten money by refusing their patent applications, and now Italy, with the help of three Italian ministries, will try to undo Monsanto. A decree has been signed which will ban Monsanto’s MON810 maize, one of the two genetically modified crops currently legally grown in Europe and sold commercially. The decree is not yet binding as it has to be published in the official gazette, but the public stands behind the three Italian ministers who put forth the document with a resounding 80% against GMO and Monsanto, as evidenced in a public survey.
The agricultural ministry rightfully addressed one of many problems with Monsanto’s GMO crops, stating that they have a ‘negative impact on biodiversity.’ The ban was also signed by the health and environment ministries. That makes three. The ministries stated:
“Our agriculture is based on biodiversity, on quality, and those we must continue to aim for, without games that even from an economic point of view would not make us competitive.”
The three ministries have also notified the European Commission and other states in the EU about this important precedent-setting move to oust Monsanto from the world food supply monopoly that the company is currently trying to browbeat the world with. The ministries have also requested a scientific basis for the final decision from the European Food and Safety Authority – Europe’s version of the FDA, the country’s food safety watch dog.
Individual governments in the EU are able to introduce safeguards and recommendations if they feel the food supply is threatened, or there are environmental risks, however, the Commission must verify them and put them into action. Just last year French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayraul announced that the nation would maintain a key ban on the only remaining GMO currently allowed in Europe - the MON810 maize specifically.
“The protection of Italian distinctiveness must be a policy priority since it determines the existence of ‘Made in Italy’, which is our engine, our future, our leverage to return to growth in the food industry,” Coldiretti’s president, Sergio Marini, said in a statement.
Only five members of the European Union grew Monsanto’s MON810 maize last year, according to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications.