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WikiLeaks: Bush-Era Ambassador Pushes GMOs In Europe

Documents published by WikiLeaks show that diplomats aggressively lobbied the EU and the Vatican to buy US GMO crops.

Corn

Photo: Graibeard (flickr)

US Diplomats pushed for GMO crops (like MON-810 corn) to be widely sold in European markets.

[photo 1]

United State’s Commercial Interests

In the mass of confidential government documents published by WikiLeaks in December, a SIPDIS email from an American ambassoador in Paris under George W. Bush called for a trade war against any European Union country that opposed genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

In the message, Ambassador Craig Stapleton urged United States Trade Representative Susan Schwab to aggressively force biotech products into Europe:

Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits. The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory.

Stapleton blames the multi-party French environmental movement, le Grenelle Environnement, saying it was hurting the pro-biotech market by suspending cultivation of GMO corn known as MON 810 in France. He also attacks the “common interest” group of environmental policy makers, implying that by delaying widespread acceptance of GMOs, social scientists stood in the way of the progression of science.

GMOs, Spain, And The Pope

Stapleton was not alone in his pro-GMO sentiment.

Other WikiLeaks documents show that all over the world US diplomats pushed for GMOs as a global commercial necessity for the United States. Some diplomats worked directly for GMO-producing companies such as Monsanto. Spain and the United States held close ties in their push for GMOs, even going so far as to inform each other of how they would vote on bio-tech policies before the elections were held.

Furthermore, because many bishops opposed GMOs, the diplomats particularly targeted the pope. After extensive US lobbying, documents showed that diplomats expressed optimism about the Vatican’s backing of biotech crops, too.

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Julie Rooney

Julie Rooney is a vegetarian, musician, and artist who primarily works in video and new media. Currently she is the director of Low Road Gallery, a non-profit contemporary art gallery located in Greencastle, Indiana.

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