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FRANCE defines "GMO free"

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As requested by French Ministries of Environment, Agriculture, and Consumer Affairs, the country's High Biotech Council (HBC) has released a document defining "GMO-free" production. HBC, composed of a scientific and a socio-economic committee, is in charge of advising the French Government on a wide range of biotech issues.

The HBC detailed biotech-free conditions for three categories of products:
For plant products, the HBC recommended that a "GMO-free" label be attributed to products containing less than 0.1 percent transgenic DNA.

For animal products, the HBC recommended that the label "fed on GMO-free feed" or "derived from animals fed without GM feed" be reserved to products derived from animals fed on feed containing less than 0.1 percent transgenic DNA.

For apiculture products, the HCB recommended that "biotech-free" label be based on a minimum distance between the apiary and fields of biotech crops, to be set by public authorities.

A report by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service notes that the French Ministries of Ecology, Agriculture, and Economy are preparing a decree to be published in the Official Journal regulating "GMO-free" labeling. The report says that the decree is expected to be finalized in the second half of 2010. French authorities previously required a 0.01 percent threshold, making labeling non feasible.

Download a copy of the document at