Things are heating up
Biotech Activists wrote:
> Biotech Activists (email@example.com) Posted: 03/26/2000 By firstname.lastname@example.org
> THE INDEPENDENT, London, 26 March 2000
> news | UK | Environment
> Europe to act on GM pollution of organic farms
> BY Geoffrey Lean, Environment Correspondent
> Ministers want Britons to have the power to sue GM companies, and force them
> to pay massive damages if they harm health, the environment or livelihoods.
> They are backing moves in the European Parliament to make Monsanto and other
> giant firms financially responsible for any ill-effects of their activities.
> They are particularly keen to safeguard organic farmers, who face ruin if
> their crops are contaminated with pollen from GM crops.
> The measure would dramatically shift the balance of power in the management
> of GM foods and crops to the public, while calling the bluff of the firms,
> who have long claimed GM produce is harmless.
> Last week the European parliament's environment committee passed an
> amendment to an EU directive imposing full liability on the companies for
> damage done by their products. The amendment goes before the full parliament
> next month and, if passed, will be sent to EU environment ministers for
> Michael Meacher, the environment minister, has already called on the
> European Commission to draw up a similar measure, and he will raise it again
> at a meeting with his EU colleagues this week.
> Right-wing MEPs and David Bowe MEP, the Labour spokesman on the environment
> committee, predict a bitter battle. "The companies have been mounting a huge
> campaign behind the scenes to kill the amendment," he says. "But they must
> take responsibility for their products, and the public must be protected."
> Patrick Holden, director of the Soil Association, hailed the amendment as
> "tremendous". He says 30 organic farmers are close enough to the field
> trials of GM crops announced 10 days ago, for their produce to be
> contaminated by bees carrying pollen from the plots.
> If this happened, the farmers could lose their licences as organic growers,
> threatening their livelihood. Mr Holden says they have to have the right to
> take the GM companies to court for compensation.
> Under the provisions, companies could also be sued if genes from their crops
> escaped and created "superweeds", or if GM foods were found to damage
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