The Activist Italian Farmer

Here’s an interesting something for you.  The European Union court has ruled in favor of an Italian activist farmer who has defied his nation’s law by planting genetically modified corn.

Italy had prosecuted Giorgio Fidenato for cultivating the corn on his land, citing concerns the crop could endanger human health.  But the European Court of Justice ruled last September 13th that a member state as Italy doesn’t have the right to ban GM crops given that there is no scientific reason for doing so.  It noted the European Commission in 1998 authorized the use of the specific maize seeds Fidenato planted, finding “no reason to believe that that product would have any adverse effects on human health or the environment.”

Fidenato, who farms in northeastern Italy, became persuaded of the benefits of genetically modified crops during a 1990 visit to the U.S., where he learned that they require fewer chemicals than traditional crops, and produce higher yields.  He has faced huge opposition in Italy, where many are fearful that GM altered crops are less natural than traditional crops.  He has faced both fines from his government, and the wrath of anti-GM activists, who have destroyed his crops.

In 2013, Italy asked the European Commission to adopt emergency measures prohibiting the planting of the GM seeds, which are produced by the U.S. company, Monsanto, on the basis of Italian studies.  But the Commission disputed the Italian studies, citing a scientific opinion by the European Food Safety Authority that there was “no new science-based evidence” that GM seeds are not dangerous.

After the ruling, Fidenato expressed satisfaction with the decision, saying he and other farmers involved in the suit finally feel as if “justice is on our side.”

Capital Press, Sept. 22, 2017

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Farmer Fidenato in a field of corn destroyed by an anti-GMO group. 

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This entry was posted in Ag Production, Biotechnology, Corn, Education, Farmers, Feeding the World, For Kids, GMOs and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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