A Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) controversy: a “hot potato”

The deci­sion made by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to autho­rise the cul­ti­va­tion of a genet­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied pota­to, and in fact to lift the mora­to­ri­um on GMOs, caused a strong debate in France. If the French asso­ci­a­tion for veg­e­tal biotech­nolo­gies were to wel­come this deci­sion,11Agra­press: L’autorisation de la pomme de terre Amflo­ra cri­tiquée, 15/03/2010. envi­ron­men­tal asso­ci­a­tions asked the gov­ern­ment to use its safe­guard clause. The lat­ter decid­ed to refer to the High Coun­cil on Biotech­nolo­gies (HCB) before mak­ing a deci­sion, said the Min­istries for the Envi­ron­ment and for Agri­cul­ture in a joint dec­la­ra­tion.22Com­mu­niqué de Presse, 03/03/2010, avail­able at: http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/Pomme-de-terre-OGM-AMFLORA-la.html (last access: 04/06/2010). Accord­ing to Hervé Kempf, from Le Monde, such a deci­sion not only flies in the face of the Europe-wide debate of the past ten years, but it also rais­es a ques­tion, which dis­counts the Euro­pean ide­al: “In order to pave the way for GM prod­ucts, the Com­mis­sion plans to give each state the right to choose whether or not to autho­rise them, which clear­ly cuts the very prin­ci­ple of Euro­pean inte­gra­tion and man­i­fests the cacoph­o­ny which cur­rent­ly reigns in the EU.”33Le Monde: Mal à l’Europe, 07/03/2010.

    Footnotes

  • 1Agra­press: L’autorisation de la pomme de terre Amflo­ra cri­tiquée, 15/03/2010.
  • 2Com­mu­niqué de Presse, 03/03/2010, avail­able at: http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/Pomme-de-terre-OGM-AMFLORA-la.html (last access: 04/06/2010).
  • 3Le Monde: Mal à l’Europe, 07/03/2010.

The reports focus on a report­ing peri­od from Decem­ber 2009 until May 2010. This sur­vey was con­duct­ed on the basis of a ques­tion­naire that has been elab­o­rat­ed in March and April 2010. Most of the 31 reports were deliv­ered in May 2010.

The EU-27 Watch No. 9 receives sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing from the Otto Wolff-Foun­da­tion, Cologne, in the frame­work of the ‘Dia­log Europa der Otto Wolff-Stiftung’, and finan­cial sup­port from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is not respon­si­ble for any use that may be made of the infor­ma­tion con­tained there­in.