US Requested "Retaliation List" for GMO Opponents
Posted by Jimmy Mengel - Tuesday, December 21st, 2010
Wikileaks has revealed that the US had requested a "retaliation list” of opponents of genetically modified crops.
In a leaked diplomatic dispatch, US Ambassador to France Craig Stapleton asserts the need to “reinforce our negotiating position with the EU on agricultural biotechnology by publishing a retaliation list” targeting GMO opponents.
This would be not be a benign tally of opponents but a “list that causes some pain across the EU”.
It is not specified what type of painful retaliation was in store for those on the hit list, but the whole ordeal reeks of blackmail and thuggery...
The ultimate aim was to open up a skeptical European public to US bio-tech giants like Monsanto. Ambassador Stapleton repeatedly mentions the very first GM crop approved for planting in the EU: Monsanto's genetically modified corn seeds, MON 810.
It seems much of what shaped the ambassador's view was France's Grenelle environment process. In 2007 – when this cable was written – French President Nicolas Sarkozy began the “Grenelle Environment Roundtable” which sought to bring representatives of government, industry, trade unions and NGO's to develop policy on ecological and sustainability issues.
What frightened the ambassador – and US Big-Agro – was a provision in the process that assessed France's “common interest” when making environmental regulations. This common interest clause “is a precedent with implications far beyond MON-810 BT corn cultivation,” Stapleton noted.
So, in order to subvert the "common interests” of France, the US decides to make a GMO hit list to “make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests...”
Europe has a history of healthy skepticism to GMO crops: Austria, Hungary, Greece, and Germany have all banned use of MON 810 of environmental concerns. Despite US State Department efforts, France banned it in 2008.
Earlier this month, we reported on the European Citizen's Initiative to ban GMO crops until further, independent health studies were conducted. Support was incredibly strong, as the petition received the one million signatures needed to ask the European Commission to change EU legislation.
So the groundswell of anti-GMO advocates remains and this type of revelation should only strengthen it.
"We should not be prepared to cede on cultivation because of our considerable planting seed business in Europe," Stapleton wrote in the cable.
And the EU population shouldn't be prepared to cede their common interest because of a thuggish hit list...