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

Ferguson

The full extent of the racial persecution of black residents in Ferguson, Missouri, by the city’s overwhelmingly white law enforcement authorities was disclosed on Wednesday in 

Trans-Pacific Partnership, corporate trade deal, TPP, outsourcing, fast track authority, fast track legislation

A fast-tracked TPP would lock in a rigged set of economic rules, lasting potentially forever, before most Americans — let alone some members of Congress — have had a chance to understand it thoroughly.

Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, SNAP, USDA

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act created anti-hunger programs by cutting food stamps by $5 billion.

Romanian corruption, kickbacks, Elena Udrea, Dorin Cocos

Big-time corruption and small-fry bribes have brought the whole country to a state of moral metastasis.

By taxing progressively, respecting worker rights, and rethinking economics, we could make a great start at creating a more equal world.

Occupy.com's New Original Series: Act Out! Premiers March 4th, Watch the Trailer Now!

Posted 4 days 3 hours ago
public banking, public banks, Bank of North Dakota, Ellen Brown

New bedfellows are writing what may be the next chapter in the story of our democracy: a network of public banks to facilitate a lateral, collaborative distribution of affordable credit that challenges Wall Street's control.

Posted 4 days 3 hours ago

"Under The Dome," which relates a mother's concerns about the effect of the country’s filthy air on her child, has been compared to Rachel Carson's seminal work "Silent Spring."

Posted 2 days 23 hours ago
Charlie Hebdo, ISIS killings, LGBT threats

A human rights commission report warns that anyone believed to be LGBT under the Islamic State control is likely at imminent risk of death.

Posted 4 days 3 hours ago
Boris Nemtsov, Russia repression, Russia protests, Russian opposition movement, Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Putin

"If political views are punished this way, then this country simply has no future," Sergei Mitrokhin, an opposition leader, said of Nemtsov's murder.

Posted 4 days 3 hours ago
fossil fuel divestment, divestment movement, carbon emissions, renewable energy investments

The question is simple but profound: Whose side are you on?

Black Lives Matter, #BlackLivesMatter, Black Panthers, Black Panther Party, Ferguson protests, Michael Brown, racial injustice, police killings, police violence, police brutality, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Fred Hampton

A half century ago, activists were demanding not only the recognition that black lives matter but also the right to black power.

David Petraeus, prosecuting leakers, whistleblowers, Black Books, Paula Broadwell, Espionage Act, John Kiriakou, Stephen Kim, Identities Protection Act, Wikileaks, Chelsea Manning

The former Army general and CIA director gave highly-classified journals to his onetime lover and lied to the FBI about it – but he only has to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor, with no jail time, thanks to a deal with prosecutors.

When I was in southern Pakistan last year, poor youths told me that constant police pressure combined with unrelenting unemployment made joining the militias the only viable means of survival.

Forbes Billionaire List, Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg

The 29th annual guide to the globe’s richest found a record 1,826 billionaires with an aggregate net worth of $7.05 trillion – up from $6.4 trillion a year ago.

Sign Up