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Letter to the President of the French Republic – 31 July 2001

Tuesday 31 July 2001

 

From the President of CRIIGEN to the President of the French Republic


Subject: List of risks to be investigated for GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)

Paris, 31 July 2001


Dear Mr President,


CRIIGEN is an non-political and non-militant Committee, composed of a Council of Scientific Researchers who do not depend on Genetically Modified Organisms manufacturers, as well as a Board of Directors.

The Scientific Committee established, after a period of several months, a List of Risks which, however not proved due to an insufficient amount of research, but which seem to be already to be quite clearly identified, and to have to be submitted to the implementation of the precautionary principle (cf included “Letter to CEOs”).

The so-called “Mad Cow” scandal and its recent developments demonstrated the importance of being able to intervene as upstream as possible in the process, so that certain mechanisms be blocked, lest they might later appear to be irreversible. If it is true that France chose a moratorium policy about a certain number of GMO species, however today many maize varietals are authorized for commercialisation, and GM colza and soy may be imported. Certain experimentations, most often carried out in the utmost confidentiality, and notwithstanding the Court decisions, are currently conducted in half of the French Départements.

This very day, CRIIGEN sent a letter to all the CEOs of the largest GMO-manufacturing firms the world over, in order to list all the risks which have been perfectly identified up to now, in relation to GMOs and which would exclude according to us - within European Community Law  - any resort to the Development Risk Exclusion Clause which could cancel the responsibility of GMO manufacturers in a case of genetic pollution, or even worse, of health consequences. In effect, inasmuch as the new GMO Directive (N° 2001/18) excluded a certain idea of responsibility linked with GMO production, and considering that today no insurance system the world over would accept to take of the uncertainties generated in such a manner, it is quite clear that the Common Law Rules must be enforced, in particular the liability for faulty products, which applies to GMOs except in the Risk Development case.

The knowledge is today so ascertained that the risks are perfectly identified, and it is possible to say that if the present level of knowledge is not greater, it is precisely due to the implicit refusals of GMO-manufacturers and of the Public Authorities to engage the necessary amounts of money to answer all the remaining issues.

Therefore, at CRIIGEN we wanted to inform you solemnly on the steps we have taken, and on the nature of the risks identified by the Scientific Council, in order that in the future it should be impossible to state that the risks were completely unknown, so that consequently no responsibility or liability whatsoever should be incurred.

Yours sincerely

The President of CRIIGEN,
Corinne LEPAGE