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Cablegate: Scientists Petition Supporting Mon810

VZCZCXRO3749
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHFR #4731 3511619
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 171619Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1504
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2788
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC

UNCLAS PARIS 004731

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

BRUSSELS PASS USEU FOR AGMINCOUNSELOR
STATE FOR OES; EUR/ERA(GRAY); EEB/TPP/ABT/BTT (BOBO);
STATE PASS USTR FOR MURPHY/CLARKSON;
OCRA/CURTIS;
STA/SIMMONS/JONES/HENNEY/SISSON;
EU POSTS PASS TO AGRICULTURE AND ECON
GENEVA FOR USTR, ALSO AGRICULTURE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR SENV ECON ETRD EU FR

SUBJECT: SCIENTISTS PETITION SUPPORTING MON810

REF: PARIS 4660

1. On December 7, more than 300 scientists (from France and
world-wide) publicly stated in French and English their opposition
to France's MON810 suspension. See
http://nonaumoratoire.free.fr/english.htm

2. The petition was initiated by members of the French Association
for Scientific Information (AFIS), the National Research Institute
on Agronomy (INRA), the National Center for Scientific Research
(CNRS), and by the former President of the Biomolecular Engineering
Committee, which used to be the French competent authority assessing
biotech products.

3. The text of the petition states that "the cohabitation of
conventional, GM and organic corn cultivation is possible... and has
a negligible chance of creating varieties containing substances
deleterious for consumer health and no such event has been ever
observed." Additionally, the petition states that "available
studies indicate that GM Bt corn has a lesser environmental impact
than the authorized insecticide treatments."

4. Finally, the petitioners opine that "a moratorium on the
cultivation of approved GM corn by the EU is therefore not
scientifically justified, as it would be based only on imaginary or
false uncertainties concerning food environmental safety;" and that
such ban "would bring no new knowledge that could reduce
hypothetical risks that could be generated by the cultivation and
consumption of GM Bt corn." Therefore such a moratorium would be "in
contradiction with the precautionary principle."

5. Comment: That so many respected scientists from France's most
prestigious research institutions have spoken together for the first
time on this issue is significant. At the same time, we do not know
what influence, if any, this may have on the legislative debate and
deliberations of the interim authority on GMOs. End Comment.

STAPLETON

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