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
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 tougher regulations.
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 deal.
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.