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6-Regulation: France likely to use Spanish GE crop coexistance laws

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

TITLE:  France likely to use Spanish GM laws
SOURCE: AGRA Presse/Le Figaro, France
        translated by Katharina Schoebi, Checkbiotech
DATE:   15 Sep 2005

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France likely to use Spanish GM laws

On July 19, the Spanish government published a royal decree that
regulated the coexistence of genetically modified, conventional or
organic crops. It marks the desire of the Zapatero government to strictly
control GM crops in Spain, in contrast to the Aznar administration -
which was less strict, with laws comparable to the United States, where
GM crops do not have a special status.

There is good reason to bet that French regulations will be influenced by
the Spanish laws. Actually, this is the only country in Europe that
cultivates GM crops on a large scale (80.000 hectares of GM maize in
2005), and it is where French experts, in particular from Inra (http://, have studied the risk cross-contamination by GM crops for
several years. Since observing Spanish GM field trials, the French have
been constructing practical models.

Spanish regulations

To start in future, the Spanish farmer - willing to cultivate GM crops -
needs to warn the authorized authorities one month in advance and has to
specify the variety and the introduced gene in the culture of interest.
The farmer must adhere to specific rules for the preparation of the seed,
the surveillance of fields, and the cultivation of the harvest. A
security distance of 50 meters has to be kept between the fields of GM
crops and other crops. The seeding period of the GM crops has to be
declared compared to conventional varieties in order to prevent cross-
pollination during blossoming. In addition, a buffer area of four rows of
conventional maize, that is labeled as GMO, has to surround the GM field.
In the case of maize resistant to the leaf-folder, 20 percent of the GM
parcel has to be sown by conventional maize to hinder the development of
resistance to the insect.

Additional regulations

The farmers must participate in education programs concerning GM
cultivation. If a variety is deemed to be a source of contamination, it
could be cancelled from the national register. Finally, the authorized
persons from a region are charged with supervising whether the measures
are well met.


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