FRANCE defines "GMO free"
News Nov 30, 2009
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
Back in 2009, researchers identified a herd of Awassi sheep suffering from "day blindness". As that term implies, these sheep were blind during the day (in bright light) but could see at night, in low-light conditions. After identifying the genetic basis of this blindness, researchers have now successfully used gene therapy to restore their daytime vision.READ MORE
The National Institutes of Health announced the launch of a new initiative to help speed the development of cures for sickle cell disease. The Cure Sickle Cell Initiative will take advantage of the latest genetic discoveries and technological advances to move the most promising genetic-based curative therapies safely into clinical trials within five to 10 years.