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EU court allows access to GMO field test locations

EU member states cannot prevent public access to information on the location of field trials on genetically modified crops, ruled the European Court of Justice (ECJ) this month. The ECJ was asked for an opinion by the French council of state (Conseil d'Etat) on a lawsuit brought by Pierre Azelvandre, who had been refused such information by his local authority in Sausheim (Haute-Alsace) on the grounds that the disclosure would prejudice the privacy and safety of the farmers concerned. While EU GMO legislation protects confidential data, it does not cover any information concerning the environmental risk assessment, including test site locations, the ECJ said. Anti-GMO activists have caused widespread damage to GM crop field trials in France in recent years ( Agrow No 560, p 11).

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