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Checkbiotech: France likely to use Spanish GM laws
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: September 15, 2005 07:38PM ; ;

The Spanish government published a royal decree that regulated the
coexistence of genetically modified, conventional or organic crops (July
2005). It marks the desire of the Zapatero government to strictly control GM
crops in Spain, in contrast to the Aznar administration - which was less
strict, with laws comparable to the United States, where GM crops do not
have a special status.Translated by Katharina Schoebi, Checkbiotech.

There is good reason to bet that French regulations will be influenced by
the Spanish laws. Actually, this is the only country in Europe that
cultivates GM crops on a large scale (80.000 hectares of GM maize in 2005),
and it is where French experts, in particular from Inra
(, have studied the risk cross-contamination by GM crops
for several years. Since observing Spanish GM field trials, the French have
been constructing practical models.

Spanish regulations

To start in future, the Spanish farmer - willing to cultivate GM crops -
needs to warn the authorized authorities one month in advance and has to
specify the variety and the introduced gene in the culture of interest. The
farmer must adhere to specific rules for the preparation of the seed, the
surveillance of fields, and the cultivation of the harvest. A security
distance of 50 meters has to be kept between the fields of GM crops and
other crops. The seeding period of the GM crops has to be declared compared
to conventional varieties in order to prevent cross-pollination during
blossoming. In addition, a buffer area of four rows of conventional maize,
that is labeled as GMO, has to surround the GM field. In the case of maize
resistant to the leaf-folder, 20 percent of the GM parcel has to be sown by
conventional maize to hinder the development of resistance to the insect.

Additional regulations

The farmers must participate in education programs concerning GM
cultivation. If a variety is deemed to be a source of contamination, it
could be cancelled from the national register. Finally, the authorized
persons from a region are charged with supervising whether the measures are
well met.


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