GMO-free news from France

25.01.2024 |

New GMOs: after the vote of the ENVI committee, the European Parliament must oppose the deregulation proposal

This Wednesday, January 24, the ENVI committee of the European Parliament voted in favor of a proposal to deregulate new GMOs. 13 organizations are planning an action in Strasbourg to call on MEPs to reject the text during the plenary debate scheduled for February 6.

The ENVI Commission of the European Parliament has just adopted the text from rapporteur Jessica Polfjärd on plants obtained using new genomic techniques (NTG). Will this version of the regulation, although widely criticized for its lack of scientific basis, notably by Anses in December (1), also lead to a total deregulation of these new GMOs, weakening French agriculture and denying the rights of consumers.

10.01.2024 |

French food safety agency ANSES demolishes Commission's assumptions of "equivalence" for GM plants

ANSES says there is "no scientific basis" for Commission's proposal to remove regulatory safeguards from new GMOs. Report: Claire Robinson

The French government's food safety agency ANSES has demolished the European Commission’s proposal for a definition of a class of new GM plants (so-called Category I NGT plants) that would be exempted from risk assessment, traceability and labelling because of their supposed “equivalence… to conventional plants”.

25.10.2023 |

GMOs: the Commission ignores its experts to reassure industry

Has the European Commission based its proposal to deregulate GMOs/NTGs on “ sound science ” or on the demands of seed companies? Documents obtained by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) show that the Commission chose to listen to the companies rather than its own experts at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The EFSA had indeed asked for an assessment - albeit a relatively light one - of the risks of “ new GMOs ”. However, the European Commission has proposed to abolish this requirement, as requested by certain companies.

24.10.2022 |

New GMOs: European supermarkets for strict labeling

Many European distributors and supermarket chains, mainly German and Austrian, are mobilizing. They demand that all GMOs, transgenic or resulting from new techniques of genetic modification, be correctly labelled.

28.02.2022 |

Greenpeace rebukes Macron over "new GMOs"

Greenpeace challenged President Emmanuel Macron, on Sunday, the day after his visit to the Salon de l’Agriculture, on his positions in favor of new genomic editing techniques for plants which, according to the association, produce “new GMOs”.

A handful of activists first climbed the arch which marks the entrance to the Parc des Expositions at the Porte de Versailles to deploy a banner “For sustainable agriculture, no to new GMOs”, before activating smoke bombs from green color, noted an AFP journalist.

29.04.2021 |

The European Commission wants to change GMO legislation after refusing to properly harmonise and apply it

The European Commission today published a study, commissioned by the Council of the EU, on “new genomic techniques”, in which it suggests that current GMO legislation is not “adapted to the scientific and technological progress” of new genetic modification techniques. ECVC denounces this attempt by the European Commission to cover up its inaction on the implementation of the current GMO legislation, and also denounces the considerable influence of agribusiness lobbies on the results of this study.


The European Commission has announced the opening of a public consultation to explore policy options in the coming months. For ECVC, the Commission must quickly review its message in order to open a public debate based on facts and not mistruths.

In order to guarantee the right of farmers to freely choose and to have transparent access to information about the crops they grow, in addition to guaranteeing the right of citizens to know what kind of products end up on their plates, ECVC opposes any modification of the current European regulation. We reject the appropriation of the food chain by a handful of multinationals as a result of the patents they register on these GMOs. For this reason, and by virtue of the precautionary principle, all GMOs must remain regulated by EU GMO law, as confirmed by the Court of Justice of the European Union in its judgment of 25 July 2018.

14.02.2020 |

Genetic forcing: EFSA caught by industry

The Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) association has carried out meticulous investigative work which enables it to affirm that "half of the experts responsible for assessing the potential risks of the technology have financial links with organizations developing this technology and others with conflicts of interest with a company developing genetically modified insects”. These conflicts of interest, recurrent within the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), are likely to compromise the scientific quality and the neutrality of the opinion it will publish.

10.02.2020 |

French Council of State imposes strict application of European GMO legislation

Brussels, 10 February 2020 – France’s Council of State has ruled in favour of a coalition of associations, including the Confédération paysanne, who had mobilised against GMO, taking legal action against the French government.

The associations petitionned the court in 2015 over the then Prime Minister’s refusal to declare a moratorium on the cultivation in France of varieties made tolerant to herbicides, or to apply GMO regulations to all varieties obtained by new mutagenesis techniques.

Last week, the Council of State found in favour of the associations, ruling that organisms obtained using new mutagenesis techniques should be subject to European regulations on GMO, specifically European Directive of 12 March 2001 (2001/18/EC). In accordance with the precautionary principle, risk assessments should be carried out on GMO, which must also be subject to compulsory public information, labelling and monitoring requirements.

20.08.2019 |

Population management using gene drive: molecular design, models of spread dynamics and assessment of ecological risks

Conservation Genetics

August 2019, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 671–690


CRISPR gene drive has recently been proposed as a promising technology for population management, including in conservation genetics. The technique would consist in releasing genetically engineered individuals that are designed to rapidly propagate a desired mutation or transgene into wild populations. Potential applications in conservation biology include the control of invasive pest populations that threaten biodiversity (eradication and suppression drives), or the introduction of beneficial mutations in endangered populations (rescue drives). The propagation of a gene drive is affected by different factors that depend on the drive construct (e.g. its fitness effect and timing of expression) or on the target species (e.g. its mating system and population structure). We review potential applications of the different types of gene drives for conservation. We examine the challenges posed by the evolution of resistance to gene drives and review the various molecular and environmental risks associated with gene drives (e.g. propagation to non target populations or species and unintended detrimental ecosystem impacts). We provide some guidelines for future gene drive research and discuss ethical, biosafety and regulation issues.

11.04.2019 |

French court finds Monsanto guilty of poisoning farmer

Ruling says chemicals giant knew of weedkiller’s dangers but label lacked warning

A French appeals court has said US chemicals giant Monsanto was guilty of poisoning a farmer who said he suffered neurological damage after accidentally inhaling fumes from a weedkiller made by the company.

Paul François, a cereal farmer, had already won previous lawsuits against Monsanto, which was bought by Germany’s Bayer last year, in 2012 and 2015.

He said he fell ill in 2004 after being exposed to Lasso, a weedkiller containing monochlorobenzene that was legal in France until 2007 but had already been banned in 1985 in Canada and in 1992 in Belgium and Britain.