The continuing circus over GM corn in Europe
by Mischa Popoff
Editor’s note from CFACT Senior Advisor Paul Driessen: The EU’s handling of pesticides and biotech seeds has gotten “curiouser and curiouser” with almost every passing year. But recently a new milestone was established:
European corn borers have been chewing their way through Italy’s cornfields for several years, and also providing pathways and nutrients for microscopic fungi that release lethal natural poisons known as fumonisins, which can cause severe neurological damage in human fetuses. Droughts have further devastated the Italian corn crops. American farmers have successfully controlled both infestations, and low moisture conditions, by using limited amounts of pesticides but primarily relying on genetically modified Bt corn that is also engineered to withstand drought. However, these safe, modern, proven technologies are banned in Europe — which means they are unavailable to farmers who desperately need them. That has led to some truly absurd responses by EU regulators. You have to read Mischa Popoff’s entire story to grasp the insanity of it all. But as they say, the difference between fiction and nonfiction stories is that fiction has to make sense.
“Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel.” John Quinton, UK George Cross recipient
Nowhere is the art of bureaucratic precaution and obfuscation practiced with greater enthusiasm and single-minded efficiency than in Europe. And nowhere is this more in evidence than in Europe’s battle against technological progress in farming.
The following true saga captures the insanity, hypocrisy, and tyranny of Europe’s war on chemicals and biotechnology. Lewis Carroll would have been proud to have authored it. The tale would be hilarious, if it were not so costly to so many. The situation certainly has gotten “curiouser and curiouser” with every passing year.
Highly nutritious corn (maize) has been produced in sunny Italy since it was first imported from the New World almost five centuries ago. Corn provides a lucrative export to countries with less temperate climates that cannot grow it. When it comes to staple crops, it has been as important a staple to the Italian agricultural economy as potatoes are to Ireland and Idaho. At least it was, until a few years ago.