ANN CAHILL: Italy and France object to GM plan

AN elaborate plan to break the stalemate in the EU over GM foods hit more problems when France and Italy came out against it.

The proposal would effectively allow member states to ban cultivation on their own soil provided they accept the EU’s food agency’s judgment on their safety.

Seen as a part renationalisation of policy by the European Commission, the plan has so far been criticised by both pro-and anti-GM countries in the EU.

Yesterday France said it objected to each country being allowed to decide for themselves, saying it undermined the common agricultural policy. Italy supported this view.

Pro-GM Britain and Spain – the country that grows most GM in the EU in the form of insect resistant maize – has objected to the new proposals for similar reasons.

Meanwhile, a report from the EU’s Joint Research Centre says the best way of preventing cross contamination and pollination of GM with conventional and organic maize is keep them at a distance of 15-to-50m from one another.

To keep admixture levels at less than 0.1%, distances of 100-to-500m are recommended.


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