French research heads condemn destruction of GM crop trials

October 12, 2004

Brussels, 11 Oct 2004

The heads of four leading French research organisations have condemned the destruction of field based trials of genetically modified (GM) crops, arguing that such research is needed in order to solve unanswered questions surrounding the technology.

The joint statement defends GM field trials, arguing that they are only used sparingly and are carried out transparently and in line with strict regulations. They are used either to obtain or evaluate fundamental knowledge on plant biology, guarantee the quality of varieties sold in France, or evaluate risks for the environment, the statement adds.

'Such field trials are the final means, after prior greenhouse experimentation and mathematical modelling, of verifying results acquired in artificial conditions,' the research heads state. 'This step is needed, for the benefit of all who feel concerned by GMOs and for answering questions regarding both the hopes raised by GMOs and the anxieties that might justifiably be induced by this technology.'

The statement continues: 'For the national interest of all in the short, medium and long term, we strongly condemn the destruction of trial GM crops and call for dialogue: without violence and in a climate of respect for the positions of different parties.'

In August, several hundred protesters calling themselves the 'volunteer reapers' destroyed two field trials of genetically modified corn - the latest example of what has proved to be the regular disruption of experimental crop trials in France. In response, the French Agriculture Minister Hervé Gaymard attacked their actions, saying that they had destroyed years of research for hundreds of researchers.

The latest statement in defence of GM field trials is signed by the directors-general of the Institute de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), and the Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), as well as the president of the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA).

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities
Item source: http://dbs.cordis.lu/cgi-bin/srchidadb?C ALLER=NHP_EN_NEWS&ACTION=D&SESSION=&RCN= EN_RCN_ID:243

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns