Ségolène Royal's own country GMO policy upsets environmentalists

Ségolène Royal, French Environment minister at her inauguration, April 2.
Ségolène Royal, French Environment minister at her inauguration, April 2. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

France's Minister for Environment, Segolene Royal, is under fire from environmental activists after she voted this week with other European ministers to allow each EU country to make its own decision on growing genetically modified crops.


The deal came after years of stalemate, and will allow anti-GM countries like France to continue to ban the practice, says France's Environment minister, Ségolène Royal.

But the Green Party and other environmentalists have warned it gives agricultural companies too much lee-way in countries that will allow GM crops, like Spain or the UK.

For Eric Meunier, of the GMO awareness group Inf’OGM, the agreement could facilitate the return of American agrochemical giant into the EU.

"We might see Monsanto coming back into the EU after it previously withdrew its authorization requests," said Meunier.

"We could also see the EU commission going faster to allow the importation of GMO's in the EU, as one of the requirements of the new deal is that countries must stop blocking the authorization for imports."

Environmentalists are also worried that scientific arguments to ban the cultivation and importation of GMOs will no longer be valid.

On the government's side, the new deal will on the contrary improve the legal framework for GMOs and represents a "major breakthrough."





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