A German law court in Cologne/Germany today ordered biotechnology giant Monsanto to make one of it's confidential reports public after the company tried to prevent the dissemination of its own study. The 1000-page document is in the center of international attention after its results were exposed by the British newspaper Independent On Sunday (1).
Greenpeace have asked for access to the document in Germany
referringto an EU-law which states that the public has the right to
have insightin all documents related to risk assessement of
genetically modified(GM) plants. After the German state authorities
endorsed the access,Monsanto filed a court case against the
government of Germany in anattempt to try to stymie the publishing
of the document. Greenpeacejoined sides with the German government
in the case and with today'sorder the original study should be open
for insight by the public.
"This is a important success - both for Greenpeace and for the
people.The strategy of secrecy and intransparency of Monsanto
failed, and nowthe document can be a subject to independent
investigations," saidGreenpeace International campaigner Christoph
The aforesaid rat feeding study found "significant" effects in
theblood and organs of the rats fed on the GM maize MON863. A
number ofscientists across Europe who have already seen the study
expressedconcerns about the health and safety implications of this
GM corn.Monsanto does not put in question that there were
significant healtheffects in the rats, but claims that these were
not caused by the GMmaize. But according to the opinion of several
experts the explanationsof Monsanto are not sufficient to put down
On the 24th of June the Council of EU ministers will decide on
themarket authorisation for import and use of MON863 in our food.
It isalmost impossible to evaluate Monsanto's over 1000-page study
on thehealth effects until that date; in particular because
Monsanto isexpected to file a further appeal against the recent
decision, whichcould result in further delay in the publication of
"EU member states should set a clear signal in the interest of
theirpeople and should reject the application of the GM maize.
Otherwise themaize corn could be permitted by the EU Commission
without any furtherconsultation or votings - and that could have
serious consequences," -said Then.
Other contacts: Christoph Then, GE campaigner, Greenpeace International, mobile: +49 171 878 0832
Notes: (1) Independent On Sunday, 22 April 2005.