America Debates GMO Labels but 19 EU Nations Already Have Crop Bans
March 2015 was a pivotal point for food freedom for people throughout Europe. The European Union (EU) passed a rule that allows its 28 members to seek exclusion from any approval request for cultivation of genetically-modified (GM) crops. Member countries had six months to make a decision regarding the exclusion, and a staggering 19 countries have chosen to opt out of GMOs, either for specific regions or for the entire country. This includes GM crops that been already authorized to be grown within the bloc, such as Monsanto’s MON 810 maize that is currently being cultivated in Spain and Portugal.
The 19 countries that are opting out of GMOs include:
Austria, Belgium for the Wallonia region, Britain for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia. All EU countries are required to label products that contain GMOs.
Several European countries, such as France and Italy, have strongly opposed GMOs for years on the grounds of protecting public health and preserving biodiversity. Currently, the EU makes the decisions which GM crops are approved for cultivation in the bloc and which are not. The decisions of these 19 countries show that their governments do not want to give up control of their food supply or their agricultural activities.
The EU now awaits any rebuttals about these decisions from the companies that seek approval of their GM products, such as Monsanto. In addition to its MON 810 maize, Monsanto is the producer of the RoundUp chemical glyphosate, which has been prohibited or its use strictly limited in several countries, including the Netherlands, France and Sri Lanka. Other countries such as Germany, Brazil and Argentina, are currently reviewing the dangers of glyphosate and could also potentially ban its use. The World Health Organization’s research arm declares glyphosate a probable carcinogen.
It appears that European governments are making an effort to keep GMOs out of their countries, which should raise further concern for the public of the United States, where food companies are not even required to label GMO foods. Sadly, this illustrates just how much power corporations have over the United States government and its legislative decisions.
About the Author
Anna Hunt is writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She’s the founder of Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation. She’s also the co-editor at Waking Times, where she writes about optimal health and wellness. Anna spent 6 years in Costa Rica as a teacher of Hatha and therapeutic yoga. She now teaches at Asheville Yoga Center and is pursuing her Yoga Therapy certification. During her free time, you’ll find her on the mat or in the kitchen, creating new kid-friendly superfood recipes.
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