GENET archive

[Index][Thread]

2-Plants: More on GE contaminated corn in France



-----------------------
genet-news mailing list
-----------------------

----------------------------- GENET-news -----------------------------

TITLE:  A) French government confirms knew of GM content
        B) GM maize decision due next week - minister
SOURCE: both Reuters
DATE:   A) June 26, 2000
        B) June 30, 2000

-------------------- archive: http://www.gene.ch/ --------------------


A) French government confirms knew of GM content

PARIS - The French government has confirmed it knew as early as 
February this year that there were traces of genetically modified 
(GM) material in maize seed imported into France by the U.S. seed 
company Golden Harvest. The area planted, all in southwest France, 
covered 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres), a statement from the office of 
State Secretary for Consumer Affairs Marylise Lebranchu said late on 
Friday.

Golden Harvest's French office said on Thursday that French 
government investigators had detected the presence of GM material 
last December in one of its shipments from the United States. Golden 
Harvest said the levels were so small as to pose no problem.

Lebranchu's office said tests were continuing. It confirmed press 
reports that the seed in question contained some GM material approved 
to be grown in the EU, some GM material from a strain not yet 
authorised in the EU and some GM material from a "third, unidentified 
origin". It said the government began investigations in December and 
reached its final conclusion on the presence of GM material in 
February.

The European Union has yet to set a threshold for GM material in 
seeds, although it has adopted a law forcing food producers to label 
their products as containing GM material if an ingredient contained 
at least one percent GM material. Golden Harvest said the presence of 
the GM seed in the lots was accidental.

                              *****


B) GM maize decision due next week - minister

BORDEAUX - The French government will decide next week what to do 
with thousands of hectares of maize that were sown with seeds 
containing traces of genetically modified (GM) material, a minister 
said yesterday. Consumer Affairs Minister Marylise Lebranchu told a 
news conference that Prime Minister Lionel Jospin would make the 
decision next week. Lebranchu, who met earlier yesterday with maize 
industry officials from southwest France, said the decision would be 
taken after consulation with other ministers.

Opponents of GM crops have called on Jospin's government to follow 
the example it set last month when it ordered the destruction of 
about 600 hectares of rapeseed that contained similar traces of GM 
material. But unlike GM rapeseed, which is banned from being grown in 
France, several strains of GM maize have been approved for production 
in the European Union - including at least one variety whose genetic 
signature was detected in seeds imported to France from the United 
States.

Lebranchu said the government had not yet announced any measures to 
destroy fields where the maize seed in question was planted, and was 
waiting for the lots of seed in question to be traced and located. 
She said between 4,000 and 5,000 hectares of maize had been sown with 
seed that contained between 0.1 percent and 0.87 percent GM material.

The government had previously pegged the area affected at 3,000 
hectares. Maize industry officials who met with Lebranchu yesterday 
said less than 1,000 hectares were sown with seed that contained 
traces of GM material not authorised for production in France.

U.S. seed company Golden Harvest said last week it had detected GM 
material in supposedly non-GM maize seed it imported into France, but 
levels were so small as to pose no problem. It also said the seed in 
question contained some GM material approved to be grown in the EU, 
some GM material from a strain not yet authorised for production in 
the EU and some GM material from a "third, unidentified origin".





--


|*********************************************|
|                   GENET                     |
| European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering |
|                                             |
|             Hartmut MEYER (Mr)              |
|               Kleine Wiese 6                |
|           D - 38116 Braunschweig            |
|                 Germany                     |
|                                             |
| phone: +49-531-5168746                      |
| fax:   +49-531-5168747                      |
| email: genetnl@xs4all.be                    |
|*********************************************|