GM crop commercialisation "should be gradual"

French advisors call for "pro-active" development, introduction of liability rules

Genetically-modified (GM) crop varieties that have successfully completed field testing should not immediately be approved for wide-scale commercial growing but should instead be introduced gradually, concludes a report on GM agriculture published yesterday by the French government's main policy advisory body. A comprehensive system of liability is also needed, which should include unforeseen future damages, it adds.

GM test crops have become a hot political issue in France in recent months, with the government struggling to respond to a series of test crop destructions by anti-GMO activists (EED 29/08/01). The need for EU-wide rules on GMO liability has been raised this week by green groups (see separate article in this issue).

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