Should Europe be afraid of Monsanto

French journalist warns against control practices Monsanto

With a terrifying flying Greenpeace protested in 2005 against Monsanto, which the environmentalists genetically modified maize was sown in a field in eastern Germany. © AFP PHOTO

The U.S. agricultural company Monsanto built with controversial products as genetically modified crops a huge, almost global power. And critics snoert mouth.

Sense of urgency, the French journalist Marie-Monique Robin not be denied. Now Brussels will soon decide whether to allow genetically modified crops, it was indeed time for a book on the controversial U.S. company Monsanto - by activists often "Monsatan 'mentioned. This company develops and markets genetically modified crops (maize, soybean, rapeseed, cotton), employs over 47,000 employees worldwide and operates in nearly fifty countries. In less than fifteen years did the North and South America to conquer. The question is whether Europe soon also demands.

I basically Europe's door for these crops. Here only genetically modified products are allowed, such as GM soy, a popular ingredient in cattle feed.

But how long the boat may deter Brussels is the question. The European Commission is reeling, among others fear that European farmers in the world will miss the boat now Africa and Asia (China and India) tinkering with the genetic properties of plants seem to find no problem. In our country are conservative pro-GM voices, including circles of Agriculture and Horticulture Organization LTO, but also agricultural minister Verburg example would like to reopen discussion on GM, just let them know.

On the eve of such an important decision Brussels is a good portrait of a world leader Monsanto fine. But the book which Marie-Monique Robin four years did a good portrait? Yes and no.

The signs the French multinational with great precision, on the basis of often unknown sources but also by previous publications to quote from newspapers, scientific journals and reports. Furthermore, she made dozens of interviews for her book. This is - largely - to trace through a comprehensive series of notes.

This is necessary because Robin is emerging quickly as an activist and conspiracy theorists. Not only the structure of the book indicates it, with chapter titles such as' criminal behavior ',' suicide seeds' or 'soya dictatorship. Her choice of words reflects a commitment that could harm her credibility. Monsanto is the one time 'autistic', 'stunning brutal "and sometimes" shocking, "" threatening "or" outrageous aggression. The writer is also disturbing present in each chapter.

Such an approach is tedious and makes the book weak. Moreover, it is really unnecessary. Even without all the shame! Convened Robin gets in her study, which lasted four years, sufficient information up to Monsanto to put down as a ruthless, arrogant and untouchable group with tentacles in various sectors of society. Thus, the company through political lobbying both the Bush senior and Clinton, to spawn. It predicted the authorities in the U.S. and half truths around the sleeve, so that the freedom he needed for the introduction of its products, including genetically modified crops.

Much of it was known, but Robins own conclusions do you approach it mailed doubt. Examples of when the effects of bovine growth hormone Monsanto describes. That hormone, in the eighties introduced in its lead from the beginning to serious problems, a veritable "slaughter of the cows. The animals are the product of abscesses, inflamed and have greatly enlarged udders, making them unable to walk. Nevertheless, the artificial hormone still used by farmers in the U.S.. But the farmer is now raising his own livestock and income by such means to destroy that from the beginning to big problems, ask you not qualify?

The stores also doubts as Robin describes how one after another scientist muzzled once he scribble down some critically about Monsanto. The hands of the powerful multinational corporation, they would invariably be sidelined at. This can of course also in the Netherlands is a major industry research funding. And that's risky. But as a reader you'd still like something from an official statement institute or university to read. In a book 345 pages long Dura gesneefde scientific reputations to them anyway to find a hole?

Strong is the way Robin map out the effects of genetic crops. How the "head evangelist of biotechnology" Monsanto CEO Robert Shapiro mid nineties sustainable revolution in agriculture through the preaching tinkering with agricultural crops. Hunger will be eliminated, farmers will harvest their generous winning smile and the environment is better, is Shaprio's promise.

But in rural areas of several continents Robin hears all other sounds. She speaks with farmers whose crops became infected undesirable, but the lawyers made Monsanto silenced or financial looted. She writes about farmers in India with Monsanto went into the sea, but their cotton harvest declined in and saw no other way than the self-chosen death. She sees how the traditional, ancient maize varieties in Mexico became genetically contaminated by pollen from Monsanto plants. She describes how harvests decrease soil erosion, resistant weeds proliferate and more precisely herbicide should be sprayed. What even deaths suffer the powerless peasants in Central America for example. It is these descriptions which, once stripped of the activists rhetoric, you remember. And to think about the upcoming rounds of negotiations in Brussels.

© Trouw 2009, this article rests copyright.
Sources: Nieuws - Trouw