Europe has failed to learn the lessons from many environmental and health disasters like Chernobyl, leaded petrol and DDT insecticides, and is now ignoring warnings about bee deaths, GM food and nanotechnology, according to an 800-page report by the European environmental Agency. Thousands of lives could have been saved and extensive damage to ecosystems avoided if the ” precautionary principle”  had been applied on the basis of early warnings, say the authors of the 2013 Late Lessons from Early warnings report published on Wednesday.

The report also says that GM crops provide no direct benefit to consumers, are over-hyped, not necessarily safe and are largely unsuitable for the great majority of the world’s farmers.It argues that “top-down” GM companies cynically manipulate the international patent and subsidy systems to gain maximum returns.

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