Italian farmer crusades for GMO corn cultivation, faces opposition from anti-GMO activists and government

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“This stuff, with the same light, water and fertilizer, produces 10 times more than the other kind,” says farmer Giorgio Fidenato. “So, what more could you want?!”

The blonde and brawny farmer is a kind of crusader for GMO corn. Trudging along in his tractor, he may look like any other farmer in the region, except that he’s the only one spreading smuggled, Monsanto GMO corn seeds. Fidenato dreams of a country where every cow and every child is raised on GMOs. “I want to use GMOs because I want to feed my family with GMOs because I think they are more healthy and nutritious,” Fidenato says. “I don’t want to eat organic foods because I don’t think they are as healthy or nutritious.”

Fidenato’s pro-GMO campaign was never welcome. Opponents tried to stop him from the beginning. In fall of 2010, activists tried. This archive video shows them invading Fidenato’s fields right before harvest time. Wearing decontamination suits, they clipped his stalks and covered up his crop. Leading them was Greenpeace activist Federica Ferrario. She says they intervened to stop the pollen from contaminating nearby farms. Then the state had its turn, when officials twice took Fidenato to court. He fought fiercely until the European Union took his side, overruling Italian judges. As it turns out, Fidenato’s corn of choice, Monsanto 810, is approved by the Europe Union.

Related article:  Corporate support for anti-GMO advocacy groups is growing. Do companies know what their money is funding?

Come July, Italy will lead the European Council. That means that for six months Italy will set the agenda. The minister of agriculture has already announced that GMOs will be a priority. The plan is to dismantle Fidenato’s line of defense by changing European law, so that individual countries can ban GMOs if they want. So far, the brawny farmer has won a few battles, but the war continues.  

Read the full, original article: This Italian farmer is fighting for the right to grow genetically modified corn on his land

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