How will Monsanto handle European opposition to GM crops?
By continued academic suppression?
Early this year Reed Elsevier’s Food and Chemical Toxicology journal appointed Richard E. Goodman, a former Monsanto scientist and an affiliate of the GMO industry-funded group, the International Life Sciences Institute, to the specially created post of associate editor for biotechnology at the journal.
In September 2012 the journal had published peer-reviewed research by University of Caen professor Giles Seralini showing that rats fed on a diet of GM maize (NK603, produced by Monsanto) and extremely diluted amounts of glyphosate herbicide (Monsanto’s Roundup) suffered damage to their kidneys and livers, developed tumours at a higher rate than a control group and had a higher mortality rate.
The study was the first to test the effects of feeding GM organisms (GMOs) to animals for their entire lifetime. The current standard is for studies lasting for three months, conducted by the companies that created the GMO. Read more in a report published in the British Medical Journal.
Though there was concerted criticism of the research by vested interests, the European Food Safety Agency concluded that the work exposed a serious gap in testing of GM crops.
On Thursday 28th November the Wall Street Journal reported that FCT has decided to retract the study, though admitting that an examination of Prof Séralini’s raw data showed “no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data” and nothing “incorrect” about the data.
By surveillance and infiltration?
The Guardian reports that defence contractor Blackwater, known for its killing of civilians in Nisour Square and in Afghanistan; its multiple front companies and its alleged intimacy with the CIA, was rebranded Xe and later sold to a group of investors who renamed it Academi, was paid by Monsanto for two years to “provide operatives to infiltrate activist groups organizing against the multinational biotech firm.” A more wide-ranging report was published today. The Nation, America’s oldest continuously published weekly politics and culture magazine, founded in 1865, adds dates and details in its ‘Black ops’ article.
By meeting protest with state or proxy violence?
So how will Monsanto handle European opposition to GM technology? With suppression, surveillance and aggression? Or will they just continue to rely on the strong multinational corporate–political alliances?