By Mike Ludwig
t r u t h o u t
The former United States ambassador to France suggested “moving to retaliation” against France and the European Union (EU) in late 2007 to fight a French ban on Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) corn and changes in European policy toward biotech crops, according to a cable released by WikiLeaks on Sunday.
Former Ambassador Craig Stapleton was concerned about France’s decision to suspend cultivation of Monsanto’s MON-810 corn and warned that a new French environmental review standard could spread anti-biotech policy across the EU.
“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,” Stapleton wrote to diplomatic colleagues.
President George W. Bush appointed Stapleton as ambassador to France in 2005, and in 2009, Stapleton left the office and became an owner of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. Bush and Stapleton co-owned the Texas Rangers during the 1990s.
Monsanto is based in St. Louis.
The EU’s 1998 approval of MON-810 corn has since expired. In recent years, several European countries joined France in banning MON-810 and similar biotech crops while the products are reassessed in light of research showing they could harm the environment and human health.
It is not clear if Stapleton’s retaliation scheme was ever implemented.
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