Greenpeace France to sue US agricultural company over GM contamination

Greenpeace has announced that it will sue an American seed producer at the centre of a French dispute over genetically modified organisms (GMOs), for allegedly compromising the maize crop and deceiving customers.

“This dispersion was a blow to French maize producers who wanted to keep French maize free of transgenic material”, Arnaud Apoteker, head of Greenpeace France’s campaign against GMOs said, announcing the forthcoming court case in the city of Pau. “Golden Harvest deceived its customers and wanted to go around EU and French laws in forcing unauthorised GMOs. Having done this, it risks compromising the reputation of all maize from south-west France”, he continued.

The action is not entirely unexpected after the French government disappointed many, including initially its own environment minister, by deciding not to destroy a vast GM- maize crop, which Golden Harvest said it realised was contaminated in June. Then, the government said that the presence of the outlawed BT11 strain in the crop was “very weak, in the order of one per thousand,” and that it presented

“no known risks to the environment or to health.” (see related story ).

Officials at Golden Harvest were not immediately available for comment on the lawsuit, but have previously said that the contamination was entirely accidental, an admission which the French Government had accepted.

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