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Imported GMO rapeseed, the cultivation of which is prohibited, grew in France following "gaps"

2023-01-20T16:58:00.053Z


ANSES recommends strengthening the monitoring of these seeds legally imported and processed in France, after the plants have been


Their cultivation is prohibited in Europe.

However, shoots of genetically modified rapeseed were discovered in early 2022 in the wild around the port of Rouen (Seine-Maritime), health authorities said on Friday.

The plants, which have been destroyed but can still grow back, were spotted by an association around a factory which imports GMO rapeseed from countries where its cultivation is authorized, traces in an opinion the health agency Anses (Agence Nationale Sécurité National Food Sanitary).

Seeds must have fallen from dump trucks en route to the factory.

ANSES recommends strengthening the surveillance of areas at risk in terms of the dissemination of genetically modified seeds (ports, factories, railway lines, rivers and roads), noting "gaps" in the current system.

The cultivation of genetically modified rapeseed is prohibited in Europe, but they can be imported for processing and use on site.

They are found in certain rapeseed oils, livestock feed or in the form of agrofuels.

ANSES considers that the modified genes can hybridize with local crops, in particular through pollen dispersal.

But in the case identified in Normandy, this "could only lead to an extremely low rate of contamination", being "diffuse plants over very small areas", and not fields of GMO rapeseed.

Another report in Sète

The results of the investigations link the dissemination of GMO rapeseed to the activity of a Saipol factory, a subsidiary of the French number one oil company Avril, based in the industrial-port area of ​​Grand-Couronne, in the suburbs of Rouen.

This factory has been importing GMO rapeseed since 2016, mainly from Canada, where this cultivation is authorized.

The alert dates back to the end of February 2022, when the Inf'OGM association and site, critical of these crops, discovered rapeseed plants on the side of the road and decided to have them analyzed.

"It was a dozen skinny plants, but in full bloom," said the founder of Inf'OGM, Christophe Noisette.

Read alsoThese GMOs hidden on our plates

The first analyzes had revealed the presence of a transgene.

Inf'OGM alerted the Ministry of Agriculture, which took its own samples in April, asked for the plants to be destroyed in May and then contacted ANSES to assess the measures to be taken and make recommendations.

Another report from the NGO, targeting the Saipol factory in Sète, in the south of France, triggered the opening of another “analysis” by the services of the ministry, the latter said.

Source: leparis

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