A huge and embarrassing blow of David and Goliath proportions, the indigenous folk of Peru have fought long and hard to have Monsanto thrown out – and won. Even if only for ten years until the case is up for review, this is a landslide victory that hopefully will inspire not only the rest of South American but other countries as well.
Following on Monsanto’s defeat is Bayer and Dow – all three with tails between the legs and licking their wounds.
When I first read of this on Facebook -and duly checked it, I could not help but shout out and pump the air. I know, it was juvenile joy but I was truly amazed and proud for those 6,000 farmers representing six communities who persisted against the government and Monsanto et al.
“There is an increasing consensus among consumers that they want safe, local, organic fresh food and that they want the environment and wildlife to be protected,” wrote Walter Pengue from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, in a recent statement concerning GMOs in South America. “South American countries must proceed with a broader evaluation of their original agricultural policies and practices using the precautionary principle.”
You can read more about it here on Occupy Monsanto .
Peru joins a slowly growing list of countries to ban GM foods. This is not an all conclusive list but so far Ireland, France (temporarily banning corn) with Russia following France when they found a link between GM crops and cancer, Egypt and Japan and Switzerland’s moratorium of 2010 ends this year, 2013. Germany lost the argument and has given in to restrictions placed on selected crops and make the GM farmers responsible should distance restrictions not be followed and cross contamination happens. This has made it very tough for such farmers and some have declined the GM crops. Key there is ‘responsible’ – which translates into many thousands of Euros in fines.
Other countries require labeling if GM food is more than .9%. Think about it. Up to almost 1% of processed food can contain GM food and you, the consumer will never know. India, Japan, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Saudia Arabia, Chile and South Africa all require labeling. China as well, but frankly, considering their past track record regarding hygiene, safety and truth in packaging, are they trustworthy? Roll eyes and snigger.
Oh. By the way, the US requires no such labeling. Other than a few isolated local victories against GM crops or labeling, the US as a whole remains firmly resistant. With state and congressional lobbying, bribes (did I mention Monsanto’s net worth in 2011 was nearly $12 billion)…why are we not surprised?