If you fly over the south of France you might be tempted to believe that aliens have landed with a huge crop circle appearing in a field of maize. But the aliens aren't from a distant galaxy; it's Genetically Engineered (GE) maize from the laboratory of Monsanto -- that the French government says you have no right to know about.
A crop circle X marks location of commercial GE maize fields in France. French courts want the locations kept secret.
A French court has ordered Greenpeace France to remove a webpage
featuring a Google Map showing the location of commercial GE maize
fields in France -- despite an EU law which says the government
should make the information available to the public.
So today we have responded by carving a giant 'X' crop circle
into one of the GE maize fields in question, marking the spot of
the GE maize field that is now censored from Greenpeace Frances'
"As we are now forbidden to publish these maps of GE maize on
our webpage, we have gone into the fields and marked the field for
real," said Arnaud Apoteker, of Greenpeace France.
The EU law says that member states are obliged to maintain
public registers in order to inform their citizens about the
locations of GE fields. But the French Government is dragging its
heels in making the EU's directive into national law, depriving its
citizens of vital information to protect against the risk of GE
contamination of conventional and organic food.
If you are German, you can find out the locations of GE crops
easily by looking on government websites, if you are French
however, you are kept in the dark.
"By publishing secret locations of fields of GE maize,
Greenpeace is defending the right to know and say 'no' to the
environmental and health risks associated with GE Organisms," said
Geert Ritsema of Greenpeace International.
Yann Arthus Bertrand, photographer and author of "Earth From
Above," took this image of the crop circle marking a GE Maize field
France is not the only country where the growing of GE organisms
is shrouded in secrecy. The Spanish government has so far refused
to publish the locations of GE fields. The dramatic consequences of
this policy became clear in April of this year when Enric Navarro,
an organic farmer,
burned his crop of maize which had become contaminated with GE
rather than sell the contaminated maize to his customers.
Our recent report '
Impossible Coexistence' showed that in nearly 20 percent of the
investigated cases, neighbouring conventional and organic maize
fields in Spain are contaminated by GE organisms, without farmers
and consumers even knowing about it.
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