Friends of the Earth Europe staged a 'marriage made in hell' outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels today to symbolise the threat to food and farming posed by the planned merger of the agriculture and chemical companies Bayer and Monsanto.
The majority of European governments re-affirmed their opposition to genetically-modified (GM) crops today, although the final decision now rests with the European Commission . Friends of the Earth Europe is calling on Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, to reject the new GM crops destined for Europe's countryside.
More than 200 organisations have today raised their objections to the planned mergers of six giant agriculture corporations.
Today, EU governments opposed the European Commission's proposal to authorise the first new GM crops for cultivation since 1998, but failed to achieve the necessary majority for the proposal to be formally shelved. 
Governments voted on a proposal to authorise two new strains of GM maize, and the reauthorisation of the one strain of GM maize that is currently grown in the EU.
Last Saturday, 130 tractors led 18,000 people demanding an urgent shift away from destructive industrial agriculture across the streets of Berlin.
The colourful march was led under the banner of "agribusiness, hands off our food!" and was part of the annual "Wir haben es satt" (we've had enough) demonstration. With the world's largest agribusiness giants planning to merge the corporate threat to our food system has never been greater.
EU governments will decide on Friday whether to approve the first genetically modified crops in 19 years, against a background of widespread opposition from farmers and the wider public. 
Two untested varieties of genetically modified (GM) maize could find their way on to European fields with potentially negative impacts on nature, according to Friends of the Earth Europe.
Reacting to Bayer's reported takeover of Monsanto, Adrian Bebb, senior food and farming campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, said "Bayer's buyout of Monsanto is a marriage made in hell, which threatens to further lock in industrialised agriculture at the expense of nature, farmers and the wider public. While public support for local and greener food continues to boom, this mega corporation will be doing its best to force damaging pesticides and GM seeds into our countryside."
EU Member States today postponed a vote on relicensing glyphosate in Europe. Friends of the Earth Europe is calling for an outright ban on the controversial weedkiller, which would transform European agriculture making it greener and publicly acceptable .
Outright rejection of genetically modified (GM) crops is snowballing across Europe, as governments or regions from at least 10 European countries, with more to follow by Saturday, take political steps to ensure their countries are GM-free.