Source: Friends of the Earth International
Friends of the Earth International have published the report: „Who benefits from GM crops? An industry built on myths“. The report analyses major new developments regarding GMOs in various regions around the world, including new evidence and testimony from Friends of the Earth International’s member groups. In this 2011 edition, they focus particularly on pesticide use, increasing public and legal opposition to GMOs, and the biotech industry’s move into breeding and attempting to release genetically modified animals.
In Europe, public opposition to GMOs is rising and the area of agricultural land dedicated to GM crops is declining. 61 % of EU citizens are opposed to GMOs. The area planted with GM crops declined by 23 % between 2008 and 2010. GM crop bans on Monsanto’s MON 810 maize are now in place in France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Hungary and Luxemburg, and there is a de facto ban on all GM crops in Bulgaria. The European Commission’s 2010 approval of a new GM potato, Amflora, resulted in bans on the potato in Austria, Luxembourg and Hungary. Opposition is also building in the USA, the largest grower of GM crops. Two recent legal rulings have forbidden the planting of GM alfalfa, and ordered the destruction of GM sugar beet seedlings. Furthermore, Bayer, which is responsible for contaminating rice crops and causing major harm to non-GM rice farmers in 2006, is now losing court cases and being forced to pay compensation.
In India, this rejectionist trend is also evident, and is clearly illustrated by the moratorium imposed on the commercial release of Bt brinjal, in place since February 2010. GM rice trials are also being opposed by peasant farmers, who have torn up field trials in protest against the move to commercialise this vital food crop. In July 2010, in response to civil society organisations who had highlighted the lack of impact assessments, the Federal Court of Paraná, in Brazil, suspended the commercial release of Bayer’s GM maize, Liberty Link, thereby preventing cultivation of this GM maize variety across Brazil. Farmers and local communities have also expressed strong opposition to GM crops in various regions of Uruguay, including the Department of Montevideo, which has enacted a precautionary measure on GM crops. Furthermore, in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina, local residents who have been adversely affected by the aerial spraying of glyphosate (Roundup) over GM soy crops, won a lawsuit banning the use of Roundup and other agrochemicals near homes.