Some of you may be aware of Monsanto, the world’s leading chemical and biotech seed company. For those who aren’t familiar with this company, I’ll shed some light. Monstanto develops genetically modified seeds that they then sell to farmers across the globe. One of their biggest market is the maize industry, especially in the US where most food products contain corn derivatives. In this regard, Monsanto manufactures and sells pest-resistant corn to farmers across the world, from the EU to developing countries such as the Philippines.
As the only insect-resistant maize authorized in the European Union, France has once again banned the sale, use and cultivation of Monsanto’s MON 810 genetically modified maize; which has also been banned in Austria, Hungary Greece, Luxembourg, Germany and Italy. According to reuters, “The decision is timed to avert any sowing of GM maize by farmers before a draft law is debated on April 10 aimed at banning planting of GMOs (genetically modified organisms).” This is of course great news for not only organic food advocates but also farmers who have become reliant on this multi-billion dollar company. However, this is not the first time that France has banned MON 810. Back in 2012, the country banned the seed but a French court overturned the ban the following year.
So it appears that the voice of the little guys has finally been heard, Monsanto is right to describe the French decision as politically motivated but aren’t the politicians supposed to listen to the people. The country only banned the seed following popular protests but I’m sure Monsanto are hard at work trying to lobby the politicians to overturn the ban. However, if the ban was to be overturned, I doubt it will be due to Hollande’s socialist government; the bureaucrats at the EU on the other hand will surely make every attempt at protecting the interests of Monsanto. After all, the populous don’t fund election campaigns as well the mighty lobby industry. In terms of the winners and losers in this regard, only time can tell.