27 March 1998
French poll leads to calls for GM maize reversal
FRANCE should reverse its decision to allow farmers to grow genetically altered maize, Greenpeace said yesterday.
A poll carried out for the environmental group by BVA found that 76% of people would not consume food containing, or derived from, genetically modified organisms, while 62.6% would like the Government to reverse its decision on gene maize cultivation.
The Government approved a strain developed by Novartis last year for cultivation. It is designed to resist the corn borer pest.
So far the Novartis maize has been grown in the United States, but not in Europe. Greenpeace is worried about possible damage to human health and the environment.
Between 1,000ha (2,471 acres) and 3,000ha (7,413 acres) would be planted with Novartis maize this year, according to the French maize growers association. Spring sowing will be in the next few weeks.
- Financial Times 27/03/98 page 33