by Julia Westbrook
Parts of Europe continue to rebuff Monsanto.
France took another shot at Monsanto recently by banning the sale of the herbicide Roundup in garden centers. The decision from the French Ecology Minister, Segolene Royal, comes just months after World Health Organization dubbed glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient, a probable human carcinogen.
This measure aims to protect amateur gardeners from a chemical that is questionable at best; at worst, a potential cancer-causer implicated in all sorts of other health problems, too.
Mary Ellen Kustin, Environmental Working Group’s senior policy analyst, says that the U.S. should take a cue from France and pay closer attention to the carcinogen warning now attached to America’s most popular weedkiller. “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should heavily weigh the world’s leading cancer experts’ recent classification of glyphosate as the agency moves through its process to re-register this widely used herbicide,” she says. “In the U.S., most glyphosate is sprayed on farmland—roughly 280 million pounds annually.”
Kustin points out that France’s GMO labeling laws also help protect individuals from harmful farming chemicals. “Blanketing genetically engineered crops with glyphosate accounts for the vast majority of the toxic herbicide’s agricultural use,” she explains. “But without requiring labels on GMO foods similar to labeling laws in France and 63 other countries around the world, the U.S. leaves its consumers confused as to whether or not they’re buying GMO foods.”
As a result of this type of European resistance, Monsanto has suspended trying to break into Europe with any new GMOs, noting, “We have withdrawn all applications for the cultivation of new biotech crops in Europe, and have no plans to submit any new ones anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean we don’t think what’s unfolding in Europe is a tragedy, both for Europe and for the signal that Europe’s anti-scientific hysteria about supposed ‘Frankenfoods’ is sending the rest of the world.”
Read these 7 Facts You Need to Know About GMOs and then make up your own mind about France’s decision to continue to block this agro-chemical company.