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.