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Victory for Anti-GMO Campaign in Europe; Promising Developments for Agrofuels Moratorium in Europe

January 2008

Today, the news from Europe is setting a promise of what’s to come in 2008 for food sovereignty and real, sustainable energy. We received a press release today from the La Via Campesina that a hunger strike led by Jose Bové and the 15 other anti-GMO campaigners that the French government has sided with them. They will ban the only genetically modified (GM) corn (MON 810) legalized in France.

Based on new evidence of the environmental impacts of GM crops, the French campaigners pledged a hunger strike of indeterminate length on January 3. By European law, scientific evidence that shows a technology may be a threat to the environment can be outlawed (under the Precautionary Principle). La Via Campesina hopes that the French government’s decision will spark a reconsideration of the European Union’s supportive stance on GM crops.

For more on the hunger strike victory, see:

In other news, Friends of the Earth Europe are encouraged that two high-level EU commissioners are now calling into question the sustainability of agrofuels.

Environment Commissioner Starvos Dimas told the BBC, “We have seen that the environmental problems caused by biofuels and also the social problems are bigger than we thought they were. So we have to move very carefully.” This after Development and Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Louis Michel agreed three days ago for the first time that there should be a moratorium on new agrofuel consumption levels (i.e., targets) in Europe.

Last week, a number of environment and international development organizations wrote to the European Commission pointing out the contradiction in the EU Heads of State’s sustainability criteria for biofuels and the new biofuels law due out this month. The group stated that unless comprehensive safeguards are introduced to protect communities and the environment the agrofuels legislation should be dropped.

For more on Environment Commissioner Dimas’ BBC interview, see:

For more on the European Union’s agrofuels moratorium, see:

Sign onto the U.S. agrofuels moratorium here:

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