One cable from 2007 (released yesterday) highlights a former U.S. ambassador’s views on what can be done to counter the strong anti-GM sentiment of France.
Mission Paris recommends that the US [Government] reinforce our negotiating position with the [European Union] on agricultural biotechnology by publishing a retaliation list when the extend "Reasonable Time Period" expires. In our view, Europe is moving backwards not forwards on this issue with France playing a leading role, along with Austria, Italy and even the Commission. In France, the "Grenelle" environment process is being implemented to circumvent science-based decisions in favor of an assessment of the "common interest." Combined with the precautionary principle, this is a precedent with implications far beyond [Monsanto]-810 BT corn cultivation. Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices. In fact, the pro-biotech side in France -- including within the farm union -- have told us retaliation is the only way to begin to begin to turn this issue in France.Translation? The U.S. Ambassador to France wants the United States to put political pressure on France to start growing the genetically modified crops (products of American companies such as Monsanto) that Frace and most of the European Union have been vehemently opposed to.
For a more detailed explanation of the above cable, click here for a summary from the Des Moines Register.
In addition, click here to read the Rodale News coverage of other GM-related leaks.