Italy Moves to Ban Monsanto's GM Maize, With 80% Public Support

Search form

Italy Moves to Ban Monsanto's GM Maize, With 80% Public Support

Italy Moves to Ban Monsanto's GM Maize, With 80% Public Support
This article originally appeared on Reuters

Three Italian ministries have signed a decree banning the cultivation of a type of genetically modified maize, citing environmental concerns, the agriculture ministry said on Friday.

The decree, which still needs to be published in the official gazette to become binding, targets Monsanto's MON810 maize, one of two genetically modified organisms (GMO) allowed in Europe and the only one currently grown commercially.

The ban was also signed off by the health and environment ministries, with the agriculture ministry citing the crop's "negative impact on biodiversity".

"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 ministry said.

The ministry said it had already notified the European Commission and other states in the European Union of the move.

"The Commission will look into the Italian safeguard measure in more detail, and we have already asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to assess the scientific basis for the decision," said Frederic Vincent, the Commission's health spokesman. EFSA is the EU's food safety watchdog.

While GMO cultivation approvals are agreed jointly at the EU level, individual governments can introduce safeguards if they believe that cultivation could present a health or environmental risk. Those moves, however, are always verified by the Commission.

France put in place a similar temporary ban on GMO crops last year.

According to official data from last year, there was no GMO cultivation in Italy, a country fiercely protective of its agriculture, although some pro-biotech farmers have planted individual crops in recent months despite the widespread opposition.

Nearly 80 percent of Italians are in support of a ban, according to Italy's biggest farmers group Coldiretti, citing the results of a recent survey.

"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.

The Italian ban will be valid for a period of up to 18 months, the ministry added.

Five EU member states grew MON810 maize on 129,000 hectares in 2012, data from the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications showed.

Spain was the top producer, followed by Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania.

 
 
 

Article Tabs

There’s no way policymakers can adequately address inequality in the United States overall without recognizing the effects of the racial wealth gap.

There seems to be a method to the madness of winner-take-all capitalism.

Last year, the top 25 hedge fund managers took home, on average, almost $1 billion each – and even run-of-the-mill portfolio managers at large hedge funds averaged $2.2 million each.

New Scottish media platforms are thriving as the region's eclectic, creative, evolving, non-corporate and critical news landscape looks to grow even further into a media challenging the status qu

Jeff Clements, money in politics, Powell Memo, Corporations Are Not People, Citizens United, Free Speech for People

After Citizens United, says Jeff Clements, “I felt that I couldn't just leave it at that, that democracy is really on the line, that the country is on the line – I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that humanity is on the line.”

There’s never been a better time to organize a general strike in the U.S. than right now, with both corporate owners and political leaders pillaging public resources for their own private gain.

Posted 2 days 19 hours ago

Now rolling into to its fourth month, the video game consumer movement known as #GamerGate continues to evolve in scope and focus as it seeks to advocate for greater ethical standards in gaming journalism.

Posted 3 days 15 hours ago

The provision was literally written by Citigroup executives.

Posted 2 days 18 hours ago

Tens of thousands of protesters streamed out of New York City's Washington Square Park on Saturday to protest the killings of unarmed black people by police officers, as part of the "Millions March

Posted 4 days 17 hours ago

Due to welfare cutbacks, rising food prices and unlivable wages, a growing number of people in Britain are having to resort to food banks as a means of staving off hunger.

Posted 3 days 15 hours ago

What makes Enyia’s ideas about governing revolutionary is that they're policies which hardwire economic justice and sustainability into the institutions themselves.

The crooked math that's going to crash American law enforcement if policies aren't changed.

Suppose for a moment that everyone in the Occupy movement was in a jacket and tie and behaving to the norms of corporate or cultured society. Would the police go in and beat the shit out of them?

Struggling homeowners are in desperate need of some new rules for the mortgage modification “Three Card Monty” shuffle.

The UN plan agreed Sunday is a crucial step towards a climate change deal due to be finalized in Paris next year – for the first time committing all countries, including developing nations, to cutting emissions.

Sign Up