France rolls back GM policy

Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

three months after imposing a ban on the cultivation of gm crops, France's upper house of parliament, the Senate, on April 16 passed a bill laying down conditions for growing such crops.

In January, France had imposed a ban on the cultivation of gm maize mon 810, the only gm crop approved for cultivation in the eu, saying the crop would lead to cross-contamination and have harmful effects on farmers and certain earthworms and micro-organisms. The bill now aims to change the amendment by regulating the way gm cultivation is being done in the country and mandates farmers to "respect agricultural structures, local ecosystems and non -gmo commercial and production industries". The bill will now be discussed in the the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament.

The move is in response to the European Commission's demands that member states formulate laws on gmo use. Green groups are not convinced and say the change would weaken the ban on gm crop cultivation in the country. Greenpeace says under the pressure of the gm- lobby groups, the bill could be further watered down in the National Assembly. Even if the lower house passes the bill, Greenpeace fears, it will have little impact without a proper definition of gmo written into the bill.

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