18 OCT 2010
European states accused of "flouting" WTO rules by banning genetically-modified crops on Thursday rejected EU moves to speed new authorisations.
A plan by the European Commission to allow states to decide individually whether to ban the cultivation of crops, albeit staying within World Trade Organization rules governing the movement of GM products, was torn to shreds by leading GM opponents, France, Germany and others.
"Let me be very clear, in France we refuse even to enter into this discussion," said France's Chantal Jouanno during talks between European Union environment ministers in Luxembourg.
She said the plan failed to deliver adequate assessments of the impact of GM agriculture on the environment, on human health, or on other socio-economic needs.
Paris wants strengthened scientific assessments amid accusations that some officials in EU agencies were too close to the GM industry.
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