INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Gof Extends Ban On Gm Rapeseeds

Published: Fri 1 Dec 2006 03:50 PM
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Lucia A Keegan 12/01/2006 06:00:03 PM From DB/Inbox: Lucia A Keegan
Cable
Text:
UNCLAS PARIS 07639
SIPDIS
cxparis:
ACTION: AGR
INFO: DCM AMB ECON TRDO UNESCO SCI POL ECNO
DISSEMINATION: AGRX
CHARGE: PROG
APPROVED: AGR: MMEADOR
DRAFTED: AGR: MCHENARD
CLEARED: ECON: JHENNESSEY-NILAND SCI:RDRY (INFO)
VZCZCFRI548
RR RUEHC RUEHRC RUCNMEM RUEHMRE RUEHSR RUEHGV
RHEHAAA
DE RUEHFR #7639 3351550
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 011550Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3520
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES
RUEHMRE/AMCONSUL MARSEILLE 1462
RUEHSR/AMCONSUL STRASBOURG 0266
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2546
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
UNCLAS PARIS 007639
SIPDIS
BRUSSELS PASS USEU FOR AGMINCOUNSELOR
STATE FOR OES; EUR/ERA AND EB(SPIRNAK);
STATE PASS USTR FOR MURPHY;
USDA/OS/JOHANNS/TERPSTRA;
USDA/FAS FOR OA/YOST;
OCRA/CURTIS
STA/MACKE/SISSON/SIMMONS/JONES
FAA/YOUNG;
EU POSTS PASS TO AGRICULTURE AND ECON
GENEVA FOR USTR, ALSO AGRICULTURE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ETRD SIPDIS EU FR
SUBJECT: GOF EXTENDS BAN ON GM RAPESEEDS
1. On November 24, the Government of France extended its ban on two
biotech-rapeseed products to April 18, 2007, despite the WTO
decision that Member State bans were not supported by scientific
evidence and were inconsistent with WTO rules. These decrees are
available at: www.legifrance.gouv.fr.
2. The two rapeseed products, Topas 19/2 and MS1Bn, were originally
authorized under EU Directive 90/220 and subsequently notified under
the Novel Food Regulation 1829/2003. Products under this Regulation
have a renewal date of April 18, 2007.
3. (SBU) Comment: According to Embassy sources, the manufacturer
of these rapeseed products, Bayer CropScience, has not sold either
product in the U.S. or Canada since 2001 and has no plans to market
either of these products in France or in any EU Member State.
4. (SBU) Bayer had hoped to benefit from having these products
authorized under the Novel Food Regulation EU-wide in the unlikely
scenario of unintentional contamination. As authorized GM products,
Bayer could avail itself of the 0.9 percent threshold for
adventitious presence in imports by the EU. However, the
continuation of the French ban means that any product found in
France containing the GM rapeseed products would be an unauthorized
biotech product.
5. (SBU) The GOF decision to extend these bans may also be
politically motivated. According to sources within the Prime
Minister's cabinet, the GOF is extremely reluctant to authorize
biotech rapeseed for cultivation due to gene flow concerns, and is
justified under the precautionary principle. The ban's expiration
date of April 18, 2007, being only four days before the first round
of the French Presidential election, indicates that the current
government is very reluctant to take any positive decision on this
issue. Several Presidential hopefuls have already adopted
anti-biotech positions. End Comment.
Stapleton
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