Oct. 15, 2002, Reuters via CropChoice
News: France on Tuesday repeated it would
oppose any removal of an effective European Union ban
on developing new genetically modified crop strains
until precise labelling rules for GM products come into
effect, which could take several months.
"France will not change its position on the moratorium
as long as regulations on labelling and traceability
have not come into force," a spokeswoman for the
French environment ministry told Reuters.
For more than three years, EU farmers have been unable
to grow or sell most of the GM crops commonly used in
the United States after a blocking minority of member
states, led by France, opposed any new permits pending
EU environment ministers are due to meet in Luxembourg
on Thursday to discuss the regulations, which are expected
to compel food producers to clearly indicate, above
a certain threshold still to be decided, whether foodstuffs
contain GM organisms.
If the EU environment ministers reach a deal this
week, the new labelling rules could be implemented very
quickly, paving the way for an end to the moratorium.
But French Farm Minister Herve Gaymard said on Monday
it could take another year to reach a satisfactory labelling
More than 15 groups of anti-GM campaigners, including
Greenpeace and radical farmer Jose Bove's Confederation
Paysanne, have called for a demonstration at the environment
ministry in Paris on Tuesday at 1600 GMT.
"Keeping the moratorium is necessary as long as
the problems raised by GMOs to organic and conventional
farmers are not taken into account," they said
in a statement.