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the Organic Review: U.S. has been Fighting Monsanto’s International “Military-Style Trade War”
by Ali Papademetriou
The world’s largest seed manufacturer, Monsanto Corporation has developed from a chemical company into a huge agricultural business that supplies the United States and other countries around the world in South America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Europe with pesticides, herbicides, toxic food ingredients, and genetically modified seeds.
Some countries though, such as New Zealand and France have opted out of supporting the biotech giant. Earlier this month, the International Biotechnology’s twelfth conference was held in New Zealand, which disgruntled its citizens who fear that buying into Monsanto’s GM seeds will only aggravate their country’s holistically organic reputation and introduce them to dangerous food products.
In 2009, a French Court charged Monsanto 15,000 euros for deceptive advertising of their top-selling herbicide, RoundUp. Despite the main ingredient in the product, glyphosate being classified as “dangerous for the environment” by the European Union, Monsanto advertised their chemical product as being “biodegradable” and said that it “left the soil clean”. Two years prior to that hearing, France had denounced the use of Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn, a tactic that would later come back and hurt them.
WikiLeaks revealed information earlier this year showing that Monsanto has retaliated against those who have betrayed or denied their business. The corruption-exposing website also released information displaying that the United States is teaming up with the corporation and is fighting “military-style trade wars” with those opposing countries.
Because of France standing up to the seed company, Monsanto demanded that the United States government ‘penalize’ them for banning their GM corn product. The U.S. ambassador to France and George W. Bush’s business partner, Craig Stapleton commanded that the EU and other GM-opposing nations be punished.
Stapleton commented, “Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this is a collective responsibility, but also focuses in part on the worst culprits. The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory. Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices.”
In addition, the ambassador was very blunt and mandated “target retaliation” on countries who refused to use Monsanto’s genetically modified corn. The collaboration between the chemical/seed Corporation and the United States government comes as no surprise, considering Monsanto’s and other large biotech company’s direct roots with the federal government.