In France a large scale, four month forum on
environmental issues organised by the French government is aimed at defining
national environmental policies on future regulations of GM
It is very likely that the so-called "Grenelle de l'environnement", could
change French agricultural policy.
A working group on GMOs has suggested
new legislation oriented towards transparency and towards the freedom of choice
for farmers and for consumers.
Such laws also would regulate coexistence
more strictly and enact the 'causer' principle, under which users of GMOs retain
ultimate responsibility for the control of their crops.
Announcements of environment minister Jean-Louis Borloo
considering even a ban on the usage of GM seeds had caused an outrage among
farmers', seed producers' and grain processors' organisations. Yet, after their
protests, this issue does not appear in the final working group
Further suggestions by the working group include increased
research on biotechnology and its effects, as well as the establishment of an
independent national advisory body.
agricultural policies may exert influence even beyond French borders. French
representatives to the Council of Ministers abstained from voting on the EU
import approval of three GM maize lines in September, and French veto could
hinder current negotiations on the extension of approval for MON810
MON810 is the only GM maize approved to date for cultivation in
During October, public consultations will take place in 15 cities
throughout France and on the internet.
President Nicolas Sarkozy is
expected to announce by the end of October the government's conclusions on
national positions and administrative plans regarding
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