France says yes to GM trials

Published: Sunday 15 June 2008

while anti-gm lobby is gaining ground in Germany, France retracted its earlier stand and passed the gm crops bill allowing trials. Reports said the bill came through despite majority of the French being opposed to gm crops on health grounds. Recently, two German universities had to stop research on gm maize due to "immense pressure from the public". Also, about 5,000 activists went on a protest march at Bonn a day before the un summit began on May 13.

The five-day summit was attended by over 2,000 government and non-government officials to discuss the guidelines of global protection measures for the transfer of gm rice and gm soya. The summit was held to build a consensus on the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol, which deals in living modified organisms' trade. The meeting failed to ensure a global liability regime for the damages likely to be caused by gm organisms, activists alleged. Gene Campaign, invited as a convenor at the summit, said India did not take an assertive position at the meeting. Malaysia, Philippines, Colombia and others strongly lobbied for a liability regime while Brazil, Japan and Peru opposed the move. The parties have now decided to take a decision in the next meeting.

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