Farmers and other environment groups are coming together ahead of the Environmental Council, which is being held on the 21st March in Brussels, to launch a new campaign – calling on EU politicians to stop the the authorisation of 25 GM crops being considered for cultivation within Europe.
The ‘Stop the Crop’ campaign highlights the devastating impacts already experienced in other countries as a result of the increased pesticide use in large-scale GM crop production. Campaigners – including Friends of the Earth Europe and Corporate Europe Observatory are warning EU Member States that the expansion of GM cultivation and increased use of toxic pesticide Roundup in Europe will endanger the environment and potentially human health similar to those experienced in South America.
The EU currently imports soy from large-scale monoculture plantations in South America and the region has experienced several negative effects through farming the crop. In some cases, areas experienced both deforestation and displacement of local people and increased public health issues amongst rural communities living in close proximity to the farms. In a bid to challenge the use of the crop, citizens in the affected areas have taken local action and brought soy farmers and agribusiness companies to court.
In the coming months, the Environment Council is expected to decide on the approval of 25 new GM crops for cultivation in Europe – including Roundup-resistant and insecticide-producing varieties of GM maize, soybean and sugarbeet. The next step will be a vote amongst the same experts, the outcome of which will govern whether the European Commission decides to authorise their cultivation in Europe.
The video shows the results of a two year study (2012) into the toxicity of Roundup were published. French researchers fed rats with low levels of the chemical formulation and others ate genetically modified maize grown with Roundup.
Roundup is a herbicide developed by Monsanto and is now the most widely used herbicide in the world sprayed onto fields to kill weeds through its active ingredient glyphosate.
Very few GM crops are grown in the EU, but millions of tonnes of GM soya are imported every year as animal feed. However some farmers feel Roundup residues in the feed have affected their livestock including Danish pig farmer lb Borup Pedersen.
Stuart Agnew, MEP for UKIP and Pro GM campaigner, asks whether we can afford not to use this technology since GM crops have passed all of the relevant safety checks that non GM crops have.
Aside from health concerns, British farmer Michael Hart claims glyphosate becomes ineffective over time as weeds become intolerant to it. The Cornish farmer speaks to GM farmers in the US to get their view on whether the UK should go down the GM crop route or whether it should be avoided.
The video includes:
Interviews with; Patrick Holden, Sustainable Food Trust, Danish pig farmer whose stock was affected by GM soya, Stuart Agnew, MEP UKIP and advocate from GM Food, British farmer Michael Hart, US farmers, Nina Holland campaigner from Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)
Farmers and green groups unite to launch the ‘Stop the Crop’ campaign to highlight the devastating impacts GM crop production has had in other countries.