Der Kampf ums Essen

Das Europäische Parlament hat strenge neue Vorschriften für gentechnisch veränderte Nahrungsmittel verabschiedet und damit den Protest der Amerikaner herausgefordert. Noëlle Lenoir, die neue französische Europaministerin und Expertin für Bio-Ethik von internationalem Rang, geht auf die Einzelheiten im Zusammenhang mit der Regulierung von gentechnisch veränderten Nahrungsmitteln ein.

Das Sprichwort "Du bist, was du isst" lässt zweierlei Deutungen zu. Es hält uns dazu an, uns gesund und nährstoffreich zu ernähren, und es erinnert uns daran, dass unsere Nahrung ein wesentlicher Bestandteil unserer kulturellen, religiösen oder regionalen Identität ist, weil das, was wir zu uns nehmen tief mit unserer Geschichte und Tradition verwurzelt ist. Wir haben unseren kulinarischen Besonderheiten sogar einige der ausdrucksstärksten Spitznamen zu verdanken. Für die Engländer werden wir Franzosen immer "frogs" sein, weil wir Froschschenkel essen und die Deutschen immer "krauts", wegen ihrer Vorliebe für Sauerkraut.

Die Entwicklung der europäischen Haltung gegenüber gentechnisch veränderten Nahrungsmitteln und Pflanzen reflektiert diesen Zusammenhang zwischen Gesundheit und Identität. Seit April 1990, als das Europäische Parlament ohne nennenswerte Opposition die ersten beiden Richtlinien über die Verwendung und Verbreitung von gentechnisch veränderten Organismen (GVO) verabschiedete, ist die öffentliche Meinung zunehmend misstrauischer und feindseliger geworden. Woher kommt dieser erbitterte Widerstand gegen GV-Lebensmittel?

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