WikiLeaks: US government, acting on behalf of Monsanto, targeted EU over GM crops

[Updated below]

Make no mistake: Monsanto poses an infinitely greater threat to the world than al Qaeda.

The US government still marches in lockstep with this corporate behemoth which is intent and already frighteningly successful in its campaign to claim ownership over the global food supply.

The Guardian reports:

The US embassy in Paris advised Washington to start a military-style trade war against any European Union country which opposed genetically modified (GM) crops, newly released WikiLeaks cables show.

In response to moves by France to ban a Monsanto GM corn variety in late 2007, the ambassador, Craig Stapleton, a friend and business partner of former US president George Bush, asked Washington to penalise the EU and particularly countries which did not support the use of GM crops.

“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 that 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,” said Stapleton, who with Bush co-owned the St Louis-based Texas Rangers baseball team in the 1990s.

In other newly released cables, US diplomats around the world are found to have pushed GM crops as a strategic government and commercial imperative.

In a recent interview on Democracy Now!, Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, was asked to compare the Obama administration with the Bush administration on the issue of biotechnology.

President Obama, while he was campaigning here in Iowa, promised that he would require labeling of genetically modified crops. And since most Americans say they would avoid GMOs if labeled, that would have eliminated it from the food supply. But, you see, he and the FDA have been promoting the biotechnology. And unfortunately, the Obama administration has not been better than the Bush administration, possibly worse.

For example, the person who was in charge of FDA policy in 1992, Monsanto’s former attorney, Michael Taylor, he allowed GMOs on the market without any safety studies and without labeling, and the policy claimed that the agency was not aware of any information showing that GMOs were significantly different. Seven years later, because of a lawsuit, 44,000 secret internal FDA memos revealed that that policy was a lie. Not only were the scientists at the FDA aware that GMOs were different, they had warned repeatedly that they might create allergies, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems. But they were ignored, and their warnings were even denied, and the policy went forth allowing the deployment GMOs into the food supply with virtually no safety studies. That person in charge is now the U.S. food safety czar in the Obama administration.

If you haven’t seen it already, watch Food Inc. (2008). This is the part of the documentary dealing with Monsanto’s ownership of the soy bean and the draconian means it uses to prevent farmers replanting seed grown on their own fields.

Update: Aaron Turpen writes:

Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of genetically modified seeds and of America’s most-used herbicide RoundUp, is finally showing signs of breaking. Earlier this year, the company was named Company of the Year by Forbes Magazine. Forbes has since apologized for that award while stock market commentator Jim Cramer has named Monsanto to be “the worst stock of 2010.”

So what’s happening to the GMO Giant?

Several things are happening at once, bringing the powerful company down to earth. First, Monsanto’s best-selling product, RoundUp (glyphosate), has seen its patent run out. This means cheaper competition, especially in large, foreign markets like Asia. Second, the company is also seeing many of its core seed buyers turning to other sources because of the growing threat of RoundUp-resistant crops.

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Comments

  1. Ian Arbuckle says:

    Monsanto = corporate mafia with federal administrative backing. And this is the kind of monopoly rubbish that America is trying to spread around the world. Who needs such a cancer?

  2. dickerson3870 says:

    Food, Inc. can also be streamed from NetFlix if you are a menber.
    Food, Inc. , 2008PG, 94 minutes
    Drawing on Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation and Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, director Robert Kenner’s Oscar-nominated documentary explores the food industry’s detrimental effects on our health and environment. Kenner spotlights the men and women who are working to reform an industry rife with monopolies, questionable interpretations of laws and subsidies, political ties and rising rates of E. coli outbreaks.
    Format: DVD, Blu-ray and streaming (HD available)
    NETFLIX LISTING – http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/Food-Inc./70108783?trkid=191776#height2420

  3. “Make no mistake: Monsanto poses an infinitely greater threat to the world than al Qaeda.”
    “This is the kind of monopoly rubbish that America is trying to spread around the world.”

    Trying-? Hardly- I would say with the help of the Gates Foundation, other hi –tech industry giants and supported by US directives to the government officials and scientist of foreign counties they are doing pretty darn well from an economic point of view.

    Thanks Paul for the film clip from Food Inc. I will certainly go to view the whole series. In my own research spurred on by view your film clip I was astounded to learn that the majority of cabinet members in the USDA,USAID FDA, and US Trade Representatives for agriculture are former Monsanto administrators or directly from the bio tech companies and their lobbying, research, and philanthropic arms.
    regarding that issue and a futher look at the legal persecution of US heartland farmers –check out: http://www.organicconsumers.org/monlink.cfm-

  4. “O” has proven in the last 2 years that he was all mouth and no action, had his wires crossed when instead of being the elected leader of the whole country, instead he only cared for the few. The saying “I got mine” looks to be true now, doesn’t it.

  5. Correction on the first phrase:

    “Make no mistake: Monsanto poses an infinitely greater threat to the world than al Qaeda.”

    Make no mistake: Monsanto and the US government poses an infinitely greater threat to the world than al Qaeda.

  6. Feed Obama’s daughters a meal from MONSATO side dishes and fish from the Gulf of Mexico.

  7. Frigga Karl says:

    Corporate US Industries and their allies in the US government have kept their aggressive nature limited by the existence of the Soviet Union, but after the fall of USSR, the beast was released with all its deadly instruments to devour the planet. Unfortunately there is no regulating power to stop the US, no moral stand in the administrations of the west. the EU is too weak to counter. States who are resisting to this assaults will have to bear the military might to be smashed: Iraq. This is the extreme brutality we are living with. I hope for the next generations that these are the last convulsions of the beast.