14 December 1998
France thinks again about GM food

FRANCE is having second thoughts about allowing genetically modified (GM) seed into its market.

Frances Council of State has decided to consult the European Court of Justice on whether France was obliged to authorise the sale of Novartis GM corn seeds, after European Commission permission in January 1997 to put the seeds on the market.

The council decided to freeze the distribution of the three types of corn seeds in September until it had made its ruling, a decision which could delay a decision for over a year.

France remains in an anomalous position as regards GM seed. It allows US-imported GM seeds. It has also allowed the distribution of GM seed by Monsanto.