Working to Ban GM Crops
By Ligia Monzoni
Although it seems that Monsanto has taken over, there is still some hope: Here’s a list of countries (and U.S. counties) that have banned GM crops (genetically modified crops) in one way or another. As reported by Alicia Bayer at examiner.com:
In the United States: Only the California counties of Mendocino, Trinity and Marin have successfully banned GM crops. Voters in other California counties have tried to pass similar measures but failed.
In Australia: Several Australian states had bans on GM crops but most of them have since lifted them. Only South Australia still has a ban on GM crops, though Tasmania has a moratorium on them until November of 2014.
In Japan: The Japanese people are staunchly opposed to GM crops (genetically modified crops) and no GM seeds are planted in the country. However, large quantities of canola are imported from Canada (which is one of the world’s largest producers of GM canola) and there is now GM canola growing wild around Japanese ports and roads to major food oil companies. Genetically modified canola such as Monsanto’s Roundup Ready canola have been found growing around 5 of the 6 ports that were tested for GM contamination.
In New Zealand: No GM crops are grown in the country.
In Germany: There is a ban on the cultivation or sale of GMO maize.
In Ireland: All GM crops were banned for cultivation in 2009, and there is a voluntary labeling system for foods containing GM foods to be identified as such.
In Austria, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria and Luxembourg: There are bans on the cultivation and sale of GM crops and GMOs in general.
In France: Monsanto’s MON810 GM corn had been approved but its cultivation was forbidden in 2008. There is widespread public mistrust of GMOs that has been successful in keeping GM crops out of the country.
In Madeira: This small autonomous Portuguese island requested a country-wide ban on genetically modified crops last year and was permitted to do so by the EU.
In Switzerland: The country banned all GM crops, animals, and plants on its fields and farms in a public referendum in 2005, but the initial ban was for only five years. The ban has since been extended through 2013.
In India: The government placed a last-minute ban on GM eggplant just before it was scheduled to begin being planted in 2010. However, farmers were widely encouraged to plant Monsanto’s GM cotton and it has led to devastating results. The UK’s Daily Mail reports that an estimated 125,000 farmers have committed suicide because of crop failure and massive debt since planting GM seeds.
In Thailand: The country has zigzagged in its support and opposition of GM crops. The country had widespread trials of GM papayas from Hawaii but reversed its plans when the seeds got wild and began contaminating nearby crops. Several countries such as Japan moved to restrict the importation of Thailand’s papayas as a result, not wanting to import any GM foods. Thailand is currently trying to embrace both sides — producing organic foods for some countries at a high price while moving towards embracing more and more GM crops. The country has also tried declaring some areas GMO-free zones in order to encourage other countries to trust their foods.
There are a few more things you can do. Try to buy organic, and buy local. Those products will be much less likely to have originated from Monsanto seeds, informing others of the health and environmental risks of GMOs and helping them select healthier non-GMO alternatives with Non-GMO Shopping Guides, spread the word, support companies that participate in the NON GMO project, for more information, go to http://www.nongmoproject.org/ and the last thing you can do is yell at your Congressmen….J