Category Archives: Uncategorized

Petition! Please E-Mail to president@uwaterloo.ca

A recent campaign of hate towards women has been occurring at the University of Waterloo.  Please follow the link and email the petition to the President of UW.

 

http://eport.uwaterloo.ca/html/snapshot.php?id=18764666392249

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Fun Georgia Bill: Give Death Penalty For Having Abortion OR Miscarriage

 

The headline says it all.  You can read the full story here.

Anyway,  I think the idiotic Representative behind this bill deserves to be flooded with e-mails pointing out what an insult to humanity he is.

Here’s what I sent, but feel free to send your own letters to bobby.franklin@house.ga.gov

Dear Rep. Franklin,

I am not a resident of Georgia, or the United States for that matter. However, the HB 1 bill regarding abortions and miscarriages has to be one of the most appalling and abhorrent pieces of legislation I have ever seen coming out of the U.s. in a long time.

You seek to push for the death penalty for women who have abortions and yet you call yourself pro-life? Apparently concern for the living ends at child birth in your sick deranged reality. A state of totalitarianism aiming to crush the rights of women.

I don’t know if you hate women or just an idiot as you want to punish women for the natural event of having a miscarriage.

I hope the good citizens of Georgia display some common sense and vote you out. The women in your state should not stand for such repressive actions.

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Mr. Deity and the Matter

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[Leak Spin] We shall not forget Bradley Manning!

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Wikileaks: SPAIN’S BIOTECH CROP UNDER THREAT

Doing my small part in the fight for freedom of information.

SPAIN'S BIOTECH CROP UNDER THREAT
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MADRID482 2009-05-19 12:12 2010-12-19 12:12 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Madrid
VZCZCXRO7893
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMD #0482/01 1391201
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 191201Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0645
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA 3981

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 000482

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/WE AND EEB/TPP/ABT/BTT
USDA FOR OSTA/LIZ JONES, OCRA/JOE KOWALSKI, OFSO/DAVE YOUNG
USEU for AGRMINCOUNS DEBRA HENKE
USEU ALSO FOR APHIS AGRMINCOUNS PETER FERNANDEZ
PARIS FOR AGRMINCOUNS ELIZABETH BERRY
BERLIN for AGRCOUNS BOBBY RICHEY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ECON TBIO SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN'S BIOTECH CROP UNDER THREAT

MADRID 00000482 001.2 OF 002

1. (U) This is an action request. See paragraph 12.

SUMMARY

2. (SBU) Spain's MON810 corn crop is under threat from an emerging
well-coordinated campaign to ban cultivation of genetically
engineered seed varieties in Europe, according to industry sources.
The campaign has gained strength and speed in recent months with the
April 14 German ban on MON810 cultivation - which followed an EU
vote supporting maintenance of a ban in Austria and Hungary.
Legislation which threatens MON810 cultivation has also been
introduced recently in both the Basque and Catalonian Regional
Parliaments.

3. (SBU) In response to invocation of a safeguard and emergency
measure to suspend MON810 cultivation in France, the European Food
Safety Authority's (EFSA) Scientific Opinion of October 29, 2008
found no new scientific evidence of risk related to MON810
plantings. The EFSA report, however, is being questioned. Monsanto
maintains that anti-MON810 momentum was gained by a de facto
agreement between the Government of France and Greenpeace/Friends of
the Earth whereby the GOF would support the anti-GMO movement and
environmental activists would turn a blind eye to Sarkozy's nuclear
energy initiatives. A senior Spanish agriculture official has
expressed concern that Spain is under increasing pressure within the
EU. Post requests renewed USG support of Spain's science-based
agricultural biotechnology position, as well as support for a
non-USG science fellow to interact with Spanish interlocutors. End
Summary.

BACKGROUND

4. (SBU) Spain was the first EU country to grow genetically
modified (GM) corn and now cultivates nearly 75 percent of the EU's
MON810 corn crop - nearly 200,000 acres. During a May 13 meeting
with Monsanto's Director for Biotechnology for Spain and Portugal,
Embassy officials were told that Spain is increasingly becoming a
target of anti-biotechnology forces within Europe and that Spain's
cultivation of MON810 corn was under serious threat. The sentiment
echoed by supporters of agricultural biotechnology regarding a ban
on MON810 cultivation in Spain is that "If Spain falls, the rest of
Europe will follow."

5. (SBU) Anti-biotechnology activists in the EU have gained
momentum in recent weeks. On April 14, Germany announced a ban on
the cultivation of MON810 following similar bans in France, Austria,
Hungary, Greece and Luxembourg, despite EU approval of MON810 as
safe for commercial use. This followed a March 2 vote in which
Spain joined with France and other EU corn producers to allow
Austria and Hungary to maintain their provisional bans on the use
and sale of MON810 corn. According to Ministry sources, this
surprising vote did not represent a change in position by Spain on
biotechnology; rather, technical considerations justified upholding
the provisional bans pending EU-wide renewal of MON810 corn.
Industry contacts, however, assert that Spain's vote was a political
gesture to thank French President Sarkozy for helping to arrange
President Zapatero's presence at the November 2008 G-20 financial
summit in Washington.

6. (U) The GOS has traditionally been a strong supporter of biotech
corn due to high domestic demand for feed corn within the livestock
sector. Spain is the number two pork producer within the EU and the
number one corn importer. GM corn plantings in Spain reached nearly
200,000 acres in 2008 - approximately 30 percent of total Spanish
feed corn production. Cultivation of MON810 corn is mainly
concentrated in Aragon and Catalonia, where the European corn borer,
which MON810 protects against, is a serious pest. The feed compound
industry and the livestock sector are supportive of GM corn. Within
the agriculture sector, only left-wing farmers' unions have negative
opinions of GMOs.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

7. (SBU) Anti-GMO forces periodically attempt to build support for
a prohibition on GMO cultivation in Spain. According to Monsanto's
biotechnology director, two left-wing parties have recently
discussed introducing such legislation in the Spanish parliament. A
Socialist (ruling) party Member offered reassurances that his party
would oppose such a move, but advised that the issue bears watching,
especially given the government's uncertain majority.

8. (U) In addition, there have been worrisome developments in
several of Spain's 17 autonomous communities, which, led by

MADRID 00000482 002.2 OF 002

Catalonia and the Basque Country, continue to seek more autonomy via
a vis the central government. In March 2008, the Canary Islands
were declared GM-free. Since fewer than 1,380 acres of corn are
grown in the Canaries, this is considered mostly a symbolic gesture.
However, on February 5, 2009, an initiative was proposed in the
Catalonian Regional Parliament to declare the region GM-free. The
initiative has not yet come up for a vote, and its prospects are
uncertain. Such an action would be cause for serious concern, since
Catalonia is a center of GMO corn cultivation. More recently, on
April 21, 2009, the Basque Parliament passed stringent biotech
coexistence legislation which could likely force farmers to halt
planting of MON810 due to strict compliance issues. The Spanish
Association of Biotechnology Industries (ANOVE) will challenge the
Basque legislation.

9. (U) In February 2008, France notified to the EC an Order
suspending cultivation of MON810 and further invoked safeguard and
emergency measures to provisionally prohibit the cultivation of
MON810 on its territory. In response, the Scientific Panel on
Genetically Modified Organisms of the European Food Safety Authority
(EFSA) issued a Scientific Opinion on October 29, 2008. In its
report, the panel assessed the package of documents supporting and
justifying the French safeguard clause and the duration of the
invoked measure. The panel concluded that, in terms of risk to
human and animal health and the environment, the information
provided by France presented no new scientific evidence that would
invalidate the previous risk assessments of MON810. It further
concluded that invoking the safeguard clause and emergency measure
was scientifically unjustified. The EU is currently facing the
MON810 cultivation renewal process. The renewal is the legal
condition for the lifting of the ban under French law. Within the
scientific review carried out by EFSA, the Spanish authorities and
experts have completed the environmental risk assessment for MON810
corn. According to Monsanto, the EFSA Scientific Opinion report is
being questioned. The GOF has sent letters to different Member
States urging them to sign up and request an in-depth examination of
the application for the renewal of MON810.

10. (SBU) Monsanto asserts that anti-MON810 momentum was gained by
a de facto agreement between the Government of France and
Greenpeace/Friends of the Earth whereby the GOF would support the
GMO-free movement if activists turned a blind eye to President
Sarkozy's nuclear energy initiatives. In Spain, agricultural
factions against agricultural biotechnology include the
environmental side of MARM and organic farmers. Increasingly,
consumers are also expressing negative attitudes toward genetically
modified crops. On April 18th, the newspaper "El Pas" conducted a
survey on whether or not GM food should be prohibited. The
following results were obtained after a one month period: 85 percent
voted "Yes, they can be dangerous" and 15 percent voted "No, they
are absolutely safe".

11. (SBU) Secretary of State and Deputy Minister Josep Puxeu
contacted the Charg d'Affaires on April 22, following the Basque
vote on coexistence and the German ban, to express his concern that
the Government of Spain is under increasing pressure to ban MON810
cultivation. Puxeu, a long-time supporter of agricultural
biotechnology, lamented that it was "the most complicated week of my
life." He asked that the USG maintain pressure on Brussels to keep
agricultural biotechnology an option for Member States and requested
that the USG work together with Spain in this endeavor. Deputy
Minister Puxeu is becoming increasingly isolated on biotech issues
at the Ministry OF Environment and and Rural and Marine Affairs
(MARM) due to the rising influence of environmental officials within
MARM as well as the increased influence of France within the Spanish
government. While MARM Minister Espinosa has come out publicly in
favor of genetic engineering in agriculture, her views on issues
will generally reflect those of the Zapatero Administration which
has recently shown itself to be fickle when it comes to voting
against France's anti-GMO interests.

12. (SBU) ACTION REQUESTED: In response to recent urgent requests
by MARM State Secretary Josep Puxeu and Monsanto, post requests
renewed USG support of Spain's science-based agricultural
biotechnology position through high-level USG intervention in
support of the EFSA findings. Post also requests USG support for a
non-USG science fellow to meet with influential Spanish
interlocutors on this issue and assistance with developing an
agricultural biotechnology action plan for Spain. Post would also
welcome any comments from other posts concerning the anti-GMO
campaign.

DUNCAN


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SURVEY: IMPACT OF RISING FOOD/AGRICULTURAL COMMODITY PRICES

Doing my small part in the fight for freedom of information.

SURVEY: IMPACT OF RISING FOOD/AGRICULTURAL
COMMODITY PRICES
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MADRID489 2008-04-30 11:11 2010-12-19 12:12 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Madrid
VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMD #0489/01 1211155
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301155Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4698

UNCLAS MADRID 000489

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR EAID ETRD ECON PGOV PREL TBIO
SUBJECT: SURVEY: IMPACT OF RISING FOOD/AGRICULTURAL
COMMODITY PRICES

REF: SECSTATE 39410

1. Summary: Rising food prices are a sensitive political
issue in Spain. The opposition conservative Popular Party
(PP) criticized the ruling Spanish Socialist Party (socialist
PSOE) party in the run-up to the March 9 elections for double
digit increases in prices of some basic foods. The
conservatives made some headway with this criticism, although
not enough to win the election. Spain is a net importer of
food and feed for livestock so it has an economic interest in
being able to produce and import corn and soy feed from as
many sources as possible. This will likely influence Spain
to continue to be a relatively liberal member of the EU with
respect to agricultural biotechnology. Given Spain's
interest in renewable energy, there may also be scope for
U.S.-Spanish cooperation in biofuels. End Summary

SPANISH AGRICULTURE BACKGROUND
------------------------------

2. Spanish agricultural and fishing production amounted to
Euros 27.3 billion in 2007, almost 3 percent of GDP. Spain
exported about Euros 25 billion worth of agricultural and
fish products in 2007 and imported Euros 24 billion. Roughly
900,000 people work in the sector, about 5 percent of the
labor force. Given current prices, Spanish farmers are
interested in expanding their marketing of olives, olive oil,
wine, fruits and vegetables. Agriculture is important in
Spain and farmers are influential, although not as
influential as in, say, France. With respect to Spanish
international agricultural policy priorities, Spain's wine,
cheese, cheese, olive, ham and other producers of high-end
specialty products pressure the government to ask for a
geographical indications regime in the Doha trade round
context. Spain benefits from the EU's common agricultural
policy, although not to the same extent as other countries
such as France. Nonetheless, Spanish farmers approve of the
support and protection they receive as a result of the EU's
common agricultural policy. The GOS would likely only
support EU agricultural market access concessions if the U.S.
agreed to big cuts in farm subsidies and/or the U.S. made
concessions with respect to geographical indications. Within
the Doha context, Spain also wants continued EU protection
for canned tuna imports. (Note: In the Doha round, canned
tuna is treated as an industrial product.)

3. In 2007, the U.S. exported to Spain about USD 1.5 billion
worth of agricultural, fish and forestry products to Spain.
Spain exported to the U.S. roughly USD 1.3 billion worth of
agricultural products, fish and forestry products to the U.S.
The U.S.'s most significant market access issue with Spain is
that Spain as an EU member does not import American biotech
corn even though Spain is a biotech corn producer. This is
because U.S. corn exporters cannot guarantee that American
corn shipments do not contain biotech varieties that have not
been approved by the EU. There are approved biotech
varieties in the EU and Spain, but not all the varieties that
have been approved in the U.S. have been approved in Europe.
Spain's main market access issue in the U.S. is gaining
permission to export specialty ham products. The Spaniards
have been successful in meeting U.S. phytosanitary
requirements and over the coming years, more Spanish ham will
be permitted to be sold in the American market.

ANSWERS TO REFTEL QUESTIONS
KEYED TO REFTEL PARA. 7
---------------------------

4. DEMAND: Spain is still a big "Mediterranean diet" consumer
of fish, fruit, vegetables, olives, olive oil, rice, beans,
cheese, bread, wine, and, to a more limited extent, meat.
However, there is an increase in consumption of less
expensive American-style pre-packaged foods, something that
concerns the Ministry of Health because there is a rising
obesity rate in Spain. During the last 12 months, consumer
prices for bread, spaghetti, onions, chicken, eggs, milk, and
olive oil have increased in a range from 12 to 34 percent.
Spain is a net exporter of olive oil, olives, wine, and
fruits and vegetables. It is a net importer of fish (Spain
is the second largest per capita consumer of fish in the
world after Japan), meat and wheat. Spain mixes imported
high quality North American (hard winter) wheat with local
wheat to make flour for bread. The Embassy has not seen
significant changes in consumption patterns yet, although in
TV interviews consumers threaten to buy less milk and bread.
This may reflect the fact that Spain's relatively high GDP
per capita allows consumers to go on buying traditional foods
and beverages and perhaps cut back on something else. Over
time though, price increases should have an impact on
consumption patterns, unfortunately perhaps in the direction
of accelerated consumption of pre-packaged foods. Per capita
consumption of wine is down, although this may also reflect
changing attitudes towards alcoholic beverages rather than

price rises. In response to dramatically higher nitrogen
fertilizer prices, Spanish farmers are cutting back on their
use of nitrogen fertilizer.

5. SUPPLY: With respect to what crops to prioritize, Spanish
farmers respond to price signals and EU policy. In 2007, for
instance, Spanish farmers planted as much wheat as they could
to take advantage of higher prices and the European
Commission's elimination of its land set-aside requirement.
Dairy production is also up, although farmers find it
difficult to increase production much more because dairy
replacement heifers and compound feed are very expensive.
Spain's significant production of wheat, barley, and other
cereals takes place on dry land dependent on rainfall for
crop yields. For these products, the weather more than
anything else determines production yields. Corn, fruit and
vegetable production takes place on irrigated fields, and
access to irrigation water is key to production. Spain is a
major promoter of renewable energy sources. The Abengoa
consortium is a major biofuels producer, for instance in the
U.S. However, in Spain there has not been major crop
cultivation for biofuels production because there is no
mixing requirement for gasoline. In addition, wheat prices
are prohibitively expensive. Abengoa has two biofuels
production facilities near Salamanca that have been closed
since late 2007 because current tax incentives and raw
material prices do not currently make it economically
worthwhile to produce biofuels in Spain.

6. POLITICAL IMPACT: Spanish consumers definitely notice the
rises in prices, and there has been a flurry of press pieces
on the subject over the past year. The opposition made some
headway in criticizing the government for the price hikes,
although not enough to win the March 9 national elections.
In Spain, the big dividing line on agriculture is not between
urban vs. rural groups or rich versus poor. The important
dividing line goes between those autonomous communities (the
Spanish equivalent of states) that have enough water and
those that do not. This has been a highly contentious
political issue for a long time. Recently, the socialist
central government reversed policy in that it agreed to
divert water from the Ebro River which originates in
socialist-ruled Aragon to Catalonia which has a socialist-led
coalition government. This angered the opposition
party-governed autonomous communities of Valencia and Murcia
that would like more water for agricultural purposes. When
the socialist party took power in 2004, its general policy
was to rely less on water diversion and more on desalination
plants. Since then, there has been a major investment in
Spain in desalination plants, but not enough to meet demand,
and some plants have not yet begun operation, for instance an
important plant in Barcelona. Over the coming years
therefore, water rights and water sharing will continue to be
a controversial political issue in Spain. With respect to
agricultural biotechnology, higher prices for feed will
likely result in the government continuing to have a
relatively liberal policy. Public attitudes have not changed
much, although it is worth noting that on April 18, the
influential pro-government daily, El Pais, ran a fairly
balanced article that provided some arguments for
biotechnology in the context of rising prices. On April 29,
El Pais ran a similar story. Given the possible future
development of biotech varieties capable of resisting drought
and Spain's chronic water shortages, Spain is a country worth
continuing to target in terms of developing greater
acceptance of agricultural biotechnology within the EU.

7. ECONOMIC IMPACT: The immediate economic impact is on
inflation. In 2007, inflation in Spain was 4.2 percent,
almost two percentage points higher than the eurozone
average. Inflation is used in determining public pensions
and has an impact on wage bargaining as well. The immediate
challenge, therefore, for the newly reelected socialist
government is to find ways to moderate inflation which will
be difficult given the global increases in food prices and
the increase in the price of oil and fertilizers. The IMF
recommends that Spain liberalize the distribution sector
more, but so far the government has not announced plans to do
so. Besides, Spain already has several competing supermarket
chains. Other than lifting the remaining restrictions on
Sunday shopping, it is not clear how much impact additional
distribution liberalization would have in terms of dampening
price hikes.

8. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: The recent price rises in
agricultural commodities have not had a discernible impact on
the environment. Clearly though, to the extent that rising
prices provide incentives for greater agricultural
production, there will be increasing competition for water.
This issue, which many believe is related to global warming,
will over the next twenty to thirty years be the existential
issue for Spanish agriculture. In Spain's dry lands, farmers
will determine which cereals they produce depending on world

prices and rainfall patterns. The same is true with respect
to crops grown on irrigated land. With respect to the
latter, there appears to be a shift away from corn to higher
value fruits and vegetables, but we do not know if this shift
will be permanent. The EU's common agricultural policy is
also hugely influential. For instance, lower EU support for
rice and cotton production has led to lower Spanish
production of these crops. However, if world prices for rice
remain high, Spanish rice production could go up again.

9. GOVERNMENT POLICY RESPONSE: Neither the Agricultural
Counselor, nor the Economic Section, are aware of changed
policies as a result of global agricultural prices rises.

10. IMPACT ON POST PROGRAMS: There has been no impact so
far, although the Embassy will continue to advocate for a
science-based approach to agricultural biotechnology, and we
will explore what possibilities there may be for biofuels
cooperation.

11. POLICY PROPOSALS: Post will continue to point out the
relationship between agricultural biotechnology, higher crop
production, less environmental impact and ultimately lower
prices. On balance, the Spanish government's decision to
merge the Agriculture and Environmental ministries into one
"super ministry" called the Ministry of Environment, Rural
Development (Agriculture) and Marine Affairs is probably
beneficial from the standpoint of promoting greater
acceptance for agricultural biotechnology. Embassy will
therefore continue to engage the GOS on agricultural
biotechnology. Continuing on Ambassador Aguirre's successful
renewable energies mission to the U.S. with high-level
Spanish officials on February 11-14, there may also be an
opportunity to exchange ideas and proposals with respect to
biofuels.
Llorens


 

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Wikileaks: FRANCE AND THE WTO AG BIOTECH CASE

Doing my small part in the fight for freedom of information.

FRANCE AND THE WTO AG BIOTECH CASE
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07PARIS4723 2007-12-14 16:04 2010-12-19 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Paris
VZCZCXRO2245
PP RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHFR #4723/01 3481623
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 141623Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1495
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2786

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 004723

SIPDIS

USTR FOR SUSAN SCHWAB
DEPARTMENT FOR E - REUBEN JEFFERY AND EB - DAN SULLIVAN
FROM AMBASSADOR STAPLETON

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/14/2017
TAGS: ECON ETRD EAGR PGOV SENV FR

SUBJECT: FRANCE AND THE WTO AG BIOTECH CASE

REF: A)PARIS 5364, B)PARIS 4255, C)PARIS 4170, D)PARIS 3970, E)PARIS

3967, F)PARIS 3853, G)PARIS 3429, H)PARIS 3399, I)PARIS 3429

Classified by Ambassador Craig Stapleton; reasons 1.4 (b), (d) and
(e).

1. (C) Summary: Mission Paris recommends that that the USG reinforce
our negotiating position with the EU 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 MON-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. End Summary.

2. (C) This is not just a bilateral concern. France will play a
leading role in renewed European consideration of the acceptance of
agricultural biotechnology and its approach toward environmental
regulation more generally. France expects to lead EU member states
on this issue during the Slovene presidency beginning in January and
through its own Presidency in the second half of the year. Our
contacts have made clear that they will seek to expand French
national policy to a EU-wide level and they believe that they are in
the vanguard of European public opinion in turning back GMO's. They
have noted that the member states have been unwilling to support the
Commission on sanctioning Austria's illegal national ban. The GOF
sees the ten year review of the Commission's authorization of MON 810
as a key opportunity and a review of the EFSA process to take into
account societal preferences as another (reftels).

3. (C) One of the key outcomes of the "Grenelle" was the decision to
suspend MON 810 cultivation in France. Just as damaging is the GOF's
apparent recommitment to the "precautionary principle." Sarkozy
publicly rejected a recommendation of the Attali Commission (to
review France's competitiveness) to move away from this principle,
which was added to the French constitution under Chirac.

4. (C) France's new "High Authority" on agricultural biotech is
designed to roll back established science-based decision making. The
recently formed authority is divided into two colleges, a scientific
college and a second group including civil society and social
scientists to assess the "common interest" of France. The
authority's first task is to review MON 810. In the meantime,
however, the draft biotech law submitted to the National Assembly and
the Senate for urgent consideration, could make any biotech planting
impossible in practical terms. The law would make farmers and seed
companies legally liable for pollen drift and sets the stage for
inordinately large cropping distances. The publication of a registry
identifying cultivation of GMOs at the parcel level may be the most
significant measure given the propensity for activists to destroy GMO
crops in the field.

5. (C) Both the GOF and the Commission have suggested that their
respective actions should not alarm us since they are only
cultivation rather than import bans. We see the cultivation ban as a
first step, at least by anti-GMO advocates, who will move next to ban
or further restrict imports. (The environment minister's top aide
told us that people have a right not to buy meat raised on biotech
feed, even though she acknowledged there was no possible scientific
basis for a feed based distinction.) Further, we should not be
prepared to cede on cultivation because of our considerable planting
seed business in Europe and because farmers, once they have had
experience with biotech, become its staunchest supporters.

6. 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.

7. (C) President Sarkozy noted in his address in Washington to the
Joint Session of Congress that France and the United States are
"allies but not aligned." Our cooperation with France on a range of
issues should continue alongside our engagement with France and the
EU on ag biotech (and the next generation of environmental related
trade concerns.) We can manage both at the same time and should not
let one set of priorities detract from the other.

PARIS 00004723 002 OF 002

Stapleton



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