It appears another victory has been declared in the battle against Monsanto and GMO ingredients. According to a major Brazilian business publication and GMWatch, a Brazilian court has demanded that multi-billion dollar food giant Nestle label all of their products as genetically modified that have over 1% GMO content. The ruling reportedly coincides with Brazilian law which demands all food manufacturers alert consumers to the presence of GMOs within their products.
Perhaps even more shocking is the fact that the court exposed a deep relationship between the Brazilian government and a major food industry lobby group that was forged in an effort to stop the court from issuing the ruling. This of course is predictable when considering that not only does Monsanto have a massive amount of political power with a figurehead in multiple branches of government, but when considering the previous WikiLeaks report that detailed how those who opposed Monsanto and biotechnology would be subject to ‘military style trade wars’.
The WikiLeaks documents revealed just how closely Monsanto has been working with the United States government, and just how serious the U.S. is about ensuring that the corporation’s GMO crops are widely accepted across the globe.
Amazingly, the Brazilian court took a stand against this corruption. Instead of groveling to Brazilian officials and mega biotechnology groups, the Brazilian business wire reports that the court determined the Brazilian government to be illegally working with the food industry entity known as ABIA. Furthermore, the court stated that consumers have the basic right to know what they are putting into their mouths — especially when it comes to GMO ingredients.
The court issued a fine of $2,478 per product that was found to violate the ruling after finding the presence of GMO ingredients in Nestle’s strawberry “Bono” cookies.
Other nations have taken similar actions against Monsanto and GMOs as a whole, with Poland banning Monsanto’s GM maize and Peru passing a monumental 10 year ban on GMOs as a whole. In the United States, the government continues to ignore and deny the concerns surrounding genetically modified crops and ingredients, instead streamlining the approval process for Monsanto’s new modified creations.
A Brazilian court has forced the multinational food company Nestle to label GM ingredients in food products, in conformance with a Brazilian law (item 1) that says all food products containing ingredients that have more than 1% GMO content must be labeled.
Brazilians will now be told about the presence of GM ingredients in food. But as yet, Americans are not allowed to know this most basic information.
Shockingly, the Brazilian government had joined with the food industry association ABIA to fight GM labelling (item 2) in the courts. In other words, the Brazilian government colluded with a food industry lobby to break Brazilian law and betray public trust. The court ruled that the government and ABIA were acting illegally and that consumers have the right to know if they are eating GM ingredients.
Court rules that Nestle must label transgenic ingredients
Jornal DCI/Sao Paulo
Vol. XI, No. 2615
17 Aug 2012
Summarised rough Google translation into English below
SAO PAULO: The court granted an injunction forcing Nestle to label the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the composition of their products, indicating the percentage of modification. The injunction also requires that the information on the label must contain the graphic sign designating GM food (a “T” in lowercase, inserted in a triangle with yellow background), accompanied by the term “transgenic”.
A fine was fixed of R$5000 (U$2478 or euro 1996) per product found on the market in violation of the court order. The injunction was given in the civil action filed by the Public Prosecutor of Sao Paulo (SP-MP). The analysis found genetically modified products in the composition of “Bono” cookies, strawberry flavor, manufactured and marketed by Nestle.
Although more than half of the soybeans used in manufacturing the biscuit are transgenic, this is not declared on the product packaging, as was determined in the civil investigation.
For prosecutors, the lack of such information is contrary to the Consumer Protection Code, specifically Article 31, which deals with relevant information that must be provided to consumers. In his ruling, Judge James Ducatti Lino Machado, of the 39th Central Civil Court, affirmed, “The prosecutor’s action does not produce any interference with the production of the indictee (Nestle).”
2. GMOs written on the label
Jornal DCI/Sao Paulo
20 Aug 2012
Clipping of article in Portuguese:
English translation by GMWatch
Brasilia: The regional federal court of the 1st Region tried the appeal presented by the Union (Brazilian federal government) and the Brazilian Food Industry Association (ABIA), upholding the sentence that companies in the food industry have to inform consumers the existence of GMOs in the composition of all foods regardless of the percentage of GM content or any other conditioning factor. “Lower percentage does not eliminate the right to know for the consumer,” said the decision.