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Cablegate: Biotech Opponents Meeting with French Ministry, Threaten

VZCZCXRO2222
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHFR #3429 2281539
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161539Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9518
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES
RUEHMRE/AMCONSUL MARSEILLE 1877
RUEHSR/AMCONSUL STRASBOURG 0478
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2725
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC

UNCLAS PARIS 003429

SIPDIS

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/SIMMONS/JONES/HENNEY
FAA/YOUNG;
EU POSTS PASS TO AGRICULTURE AND ECON
GENEVA FOR USTR, ALSO AGRICULTURE

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

SUBJECT: BIOTECH OPPONENTS MEETING WITH FRENCH MINISTRY, THREATEN
MORE GM CROPS DESTRUCTIONS

1. In mid July 2007, approximately 500 activists, led by Jose Bove,
a noted anti-biotech activist, gathered in Brittany calling for the
destruction of the entire GM corn crop in France before it
pollinates. On July 23rd, close to 150 activists blocked the Port
of Saint Nazaire, denouncing the importation of GM soybeans from
South America. Mr. Bove only agreed to lift the blockade after the
French Minister of State for Ecology, Sustainable Development and
Sustainable Planning (MESDSP) agreed to a meeting. Bove noted that
this was the first time that "delinquents" (Mr. Bove has had five
prosecutions and received two prison sentences for crop
destructions) were officially received by government officials.
(Comment: Mr. Bove may have solicited the Ministry for Ecology,
Sustainable Development and Sustainable Planning rather than the
Ministry of Agriculture as he was more likely to find a sympathetic
audience. Ms. Kosciusco-Morizet, the Secretary for Ecology, has a
very conservative approach to biotech, supporting only the pursuit
of biotech research. End Comment)

2. The delegation of 8 anti-biotech activists, led by Jose Bove, in
a meeting in Paris on July 31st with Ms. Kosciusco-Morizet,
reiterated their request for an immediate moratorium on GM crops and
the destruction of the 20,000 hectares of MON 810 corn planted this
year. While Kosciusko-Morizet made no official comment on the
outcome of the meeting, Mr. Bove, who also spoke by phone with
Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development, Jean-Louis Borloo,
said that both Borloo and Kosciusko-Morizet are aware that GMOs may
be a divisive issue at " Le Grenelle de l'Environnement" an
environmental management conference being organized by the
Government of France which will take place in the fall.

3. The anti-biotech group, called Voluntary Reapers, warned that
unless the French government takes a strong stand against GMOs in
the near future, they will continue to mobilize their 6,500 members
to destroy GM crops grown for research or commercial cultivation.

Pekala

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