French and German farmers have been forced to dig up thousands of hectares of rapeseed after the authorities found an illegal GMO strain mixed with the natural seeds they had purchased from Bayer-Monsanto.
Authorities discovered the illegal seeds in three separate batches of rapeseed last autumn, but the public has only been notified. While Bayer issued a recall when farmers learned it, some of the seeds had already been planted and covered 8,000 ha in France and 3,000 ha in Germany.
Bayer-Monsanto estimated the number of rogue seeds at approx. 0.005 percent of the total amount of rapeseed sold to both countries under the Dekalb brand, but each country has a ban on GMO cultivation with severe sanctions for "accidental" contamination of standard crops.
The agrochemical giant refused to estimate the total cost of GMO pollution that not only knocks out this season, but also next season, as farmers will be prevented from growing rapeseed next year "to avoid re-emergence of the GMO strain, "According to Bayer-Monsanto's French COO Catherine Lamboley, they offered to compensate farmers for € 2,000 per hectare, which would amount to about € 20 million between both countries.
The cause of the pollution is unknown, said Lamboley, claiming that the seeds were produced in Argentina "in a GMO-free area"And declare that the company"has decided to immediately stop all rapeseed production in Argentina. "The rogue GMO seeds were of a variety grown in Canada that is banned in Europe, although imported food made with modified rapeseed is allowed for human and animal consumption as long as it is adequately labeled.
Bayer bought Monsanto for $ 63 billion last year at a low point in the chemical company's reputation. The company was in the legal spotlight again this week when French farmer Paul François, who has fought Monsanto in court for 12 years, faces his last appeal after a court has turned two previous decisions to his advantage. François claims that Monsanto's Lasso Weedkiller caused his disability, which includes amnesia, dizziness, seizures, irritability and even recurrent coma. The American ship Dewayne Johnson, who claimed Monsanto's glyphosate herbicide Roundup caused its cancer, won $ 78 million in a historic verdict last year that opened the door to over 9,000 other litigation pending. France banned Lasso in 2007, and last month a French court canceled permission to market Roundup and cited health problems. While glyphosate is legal in France, its use is strictly regulated and President Emmanuel Macron has promised to ban it by 2021.
In January, it appeared that Germany's federal risk assessment institute had plagiarized the entire chapters of Monsanto's corporate literature in one "security assessment"In order to prove to the EU regulatory authorities that the controversial pesticide was safe when it came to relicensing in 2017. While relicensing, some European countries have increasingly come to the chemical.
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