France will seek an immediate EU ban on imports of a genetically-modified maize made by Monsanto, if a study linking it to cancer in rats is deemed credible, said Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault last week.
The EU imports about 30 million tonnes of GMO animal feed each year, including NK603 since 2004.
Scientists at France’s University of Caen found that rats fed on NK603 or exposed to glyphosate weedkiller which is used with it, also made by Monsanto, developed tumours.
"I’ve demanded a rapid procedure, in the order of a few weeks, which will allow us to establish the scientific validity of this study," Ayrault said.
"If the results are confirmed [agriculture minister] Stephane Le Foll will seek a European ban on these GMOs [Genetically Modified Organisms]."
EFSA, which authorises the sale and planting of GMOs, has been asked by the European Commission for an opinion as soon as possible on the study headed by Gilles-Eric Seralini. EFSA will next week deliver its preliminary review of the concerns over potential toxicity of glyphosate and NK603
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