Monsanto pays for GM contamination
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
In 2013, farmers in Oregon, Idaho and Washington State sued Monsanto following the discovery of unauthorised GM wheat. In an extraordinary settlement, Monsanto has now agreed to pay over US$2.3 million compensation because of economic losses from GM contamination of their wheat crops, according to the Soil Association. Monsanto also has paid towards the legal costs of the farmers who were suing them. The settlement, however, still leaves claims from other wheat farmers unresolved.
The legal settlement comes at a time when the European Union is taking steps to allow individual Member States or regions to ban GM crops. The European Parliament has recently insisted the new arrangements must include proper coexistence arrangements to ensure GM crops do not contaminate non-GM crops, including organic. However, the experience from America, where several crops, including wheat and rice, have been contaminated with unauthorised GM seeds, shows that once GM crops are used by a country, human error makes it impossible to keep GM out of farmers’ seeds and the food supply chain, the Soil Association reports.
Peter Melchett, Soil Association Policy Director explains: “The scale of financial losses suffered by American farmers because of unauthorised GM contamination is staggering. Although GM wheat has been available for US farmers to grow for nearly 15 years, they have refused to use it, because they know consumers do not want GM bread. That has not stopped them suffering from contamination by unauthorised GM seeds, and losing hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of export sales.” More information on the Soil Association campaign against GM ingredients is available here.
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