The market for genetically modified seeds and foods is far more difficult to penetrate in Europe due to overwhelming public sentiment against biotechnology, along with transparent labeling and a greater appetite for truly natural products.
The United States genetically modified crop (or GMO for genetically modified organisms) giant Monsanto has found that out that hard way, as they have been all but driven out of most European countries in recent months.
Now, Monsanto has officially withdrawn four requests for cultivating new GMO seeds in the European Union sector on the heels of a recent announcement that it will cut back on its focus on GMO crops in the region.
According to a report from the website Farmers Weekly in the UK, the crops are MON810xNK603, MON89034, MON89034xMON88017 and MON89034xNK603, which represent different bioegineered traits in various types of modified corn seeds the company sells.
Currently, the GMO corn MON810 is the only type grown within European Union territory, although it is still banned in several parts of Europe. Monsanto plans to continue cultivating the seed where it is allowed.
Back in July 2013, Monsanto announced it would no longer pursue approvals for new GMO crops in the region due to consumer rejection and the EU’s negative stance among other factors. They will now begin focusing more on conventional seed breeding and production according to the Farmers Weekly article.
Monsanto Withdrawal Shows Consumer Power
An informed consumer is an empowered consumer, and the message being sent by such consumers in the EU is loud and clear: “we don’t want your GMOs.”
The ability to affect food companies’ decisions is cherished by citizens of many European countries, who band together to force them to improve their products.
Once more Americans realize the power of their purchases, similar results can be achieved here.
Of course, transparency is needed first, which is why the movement for labeling GMOs continues to grow in the United States. We’re still a ways off, but labeling is the first step toward containing and eventually diminishing the influence, power, and pervasiveness of GMOs and the companies that create them here.
Empowering Our Watchdog Organizations
In addition to consumer power and continuing to raise awareness, it’s important that we empower watchdog organizations that do good work in an effort to inform the public about GMOs and the health consequences that accompany consumption of them.
There are plenty of sneaky trade deals and laws in the works that must be exposed and monitored for us to continue the movement for freedom from GMOs and cross contamination.
Some of my favorite groups include the Environmental Working Group, the Organic Consumers’ Association, the Cornucopia Institute and the Institute for Responsible Technology.
In fact, right now you have the opportunity to really make your donations count to the IRT.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, a noted natural health advocate, has pledged to match any donations made to the IRT from now through Wednesday, Sept. 11, up to $5,000.
See the video below for more information, and click on this link to donate.