... in the ongoing war between states and corporations
Monsanto said it would abide by Latvia's and Greece's requests under a new EU opt-out law to be excluded from its application to grow a genetically modified (GM) crop across the European Union, but accused them of ignoring science. Under a law signed in March individual countries can seek exclusion from any approval request for GM cultivation across the EU. While the European Commission is responsible for approvals, requests to be excluded also have to be submitted to the company making the application.
France and Germany have said they are opposed to GM cultivation, and while Britain is in favour, the Scottish government is against. The EU law has riled the GM industry and the United States, which wants Europe to open its doors fully to U.S. GM crops as part of a planned EU-U.S. free trade deal. In a statement on Thursday, the European Commission confirmed that so far only Latvia and Greece had asked for opt-outs from Monsanto's request to continue to grow MON810.
On Thursday, environmental campaigners urged other nations to follow the example of Latvia and Greece. Friends of the Earth Europe also circulated letters showing the European Commission is examining rules for imports of products with trace levels of GM and had requested the expert opinion of the European Food Safety Authority. In a statement on Thursday, the Commission said its zero-tolerance policy against non-authorised GM products remains in place and it was simply seeking advice on "a scientific question" unrelated to trade negotiations with the United States.
This is a significant victory for Greece and Latvia in the ongoing war between states and corporations who seek open markets in full deregulation to avoid any control. The battle will be hard and will be continued.
Despite the statement by the Commission about its zero-tolerance policy, the Corporate Europe Observatory reported that "Commission has made various attempts to meet demands from the biotech industry to facilitate their business. One attempt concerned the import of crops containing traces of illegal GMOs. In 2011, the Commission proposed to abandon the EU’s so-called ‘zero-tolerance policy’ regarding contamination with non-authorised GMOs." [fa.ev/totally-dominant-lobbies]
Lobbyists will come back and exercise further pressure against any border restrictions for the products. All the TTIP type agreements contain this as primary goal. States will have to continue the fight.