Cables were WikiLeaked on December 19th of 2010 showing the U.S. Ambassador to France, Craig Stapleton’s, recommendation that a “retaliation list” be published due to the EU’s resistance to allow genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The purpose of the “retaliation list” is to “make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices,” Stapleton explains to the U.S. government, as well as ” cause some pain across the EU.”
In a blatant effort to prevent the EU from making its own decisions about the use of GMO crops, Stapleton states that “Europe is moving backwards not forwards on this issue with France playing a leading role, along with Austria, Italy, and even the [EU] Commission.” He refers to MON-810 BT corn cultivation, expressing his fear that Monsanto’s genetically modified corn seeds could be banned by France along with other EU members. In addition, Stapleton expresses concern over the draft biotech law that was submitted to the National Assembly, along with the Senate, stating that it “could make any biotech planting impossible in practical terms” as “the law would make farmers and seed companies legally liable for pollen drift.”
Make the farmers and seed companies legally liable for pollen drift??? How dare they!? How dare they hold farmers and seed companies responsible when their pollen drifts over into other nearby organic crops whose farmers work extra hard to ensure are free from GMOs, pesticides, and other harmful substances. His concerns do not stop at the banning of GMO crop cultivation by EU members who choose what should be allowed in their own country, but extends to the idea that if GMOs are banned from being cultivated in any particular country, then banning the importation of GMOs into that country will soon be off-limits too. Stapleton views “the cultivation ban as a first step, at least by anti-GMO advocates, who will move next to ban or further restrict imports.”
So, what does all this mean? Is Ambassador Stapleton really part of a “Mission Paris” that plans to “reinforce [its] negotiating position with the EU on agricultural biotechnology by publishing a retaliation list?” Yes, indeed! But if it makes anyone feel any better, it is good to know that Stapleton feels that ” our cooperation with France on a range of issues should continue alongside our engagement with France and the EU on ag[riculture] biotech (and the next generation of environmental related trade concerns)” and that “we can manage both at the same time and should not let one set of priorities detract from the other.” Awesome, Ambassador Stapleton! Even though one country is crazy enough to care what its population consumes (and I am referring to France here), we can still be friends (sarcasm added).
Source: Wikileak.ch Cable. http://wikileaks.ch/cable/2007/12/07PARIS4723.html