France could follow Germany in GM restrictions

25th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 25, 2007 (AFP) - France may follow Germany in imposing restrictions on a strain of genetically-modified corn made by the US giant Monsanto, Ecology Minister Alan Juppe was quoted Friday as saying.

PARIS, May 25, 2007 (AFP) - France may follow Germany in imposing restrictions on a strain of genetically-modified corn made by the US giant Monsanto, Ecology Minister Alan Juppe was quoted Friday as saying.

"Germany has just suspended authorisation for MON 810 seed. In this particular instance, we must be steered by the German case," the newly-appointed minister told the daily Le Parisien.

"They have just discovered that the toxin which is supposed to kill the corn pest is being secreted in ways that are not precisely what was expected."

MON 810 is a genetically-engineered breed of corn, also called maize, that exudes a poison to kill an insect called the European corn-borer.

Juppe was referring to restrictions applied by the German federal government, which has reportedly told Monsanto that MON 810 may only be sold if the firm also provides an accompanying "monitoring plan" to research the effects on the environment.

The restrictions have the impact of a de-facto moratorium, as Monsanto has not presented any MON 810 monitoring plan so far.

Juppe said, however, that transgenic research, both in medicine and in food, "should not be stopped".

Genetically-modified foods, while widely on sale in North America, are a deeply sensitive issue in Europe, where green groups are fighting to have them banned.

Juppe said the question of GM crops in France would be addressed at a national review of environment policies, expected to be held in October.


Copyright AFP

SUbject: French news

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