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France suspends genetically modified crops

France has "suspended" the cultivation of all genetically modified crops in a surprising and highly criticised turnaround in policy. When presenting the country's new environmental policy, the Grenelle de l'Environment, President Nicolas Sarkozy gave precautionary reasons for the move. He expressed doubts about the importance or relevance of GM crops. "We have doubts about the control over the dissemination of GMOs ... we have doubts over the benefits for human health and the environment of GMOs." The President added that he did not want to oppose the EU, which approves of GM crops. Therefore, GM crop plantings would be put on hold until a new authority, to be created later this year, can provide the government with further information.

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