Survey underscores the mistrust of farmers towards GMOs
Le Monde (France) with AFP, 5 March 2008
A majority of farmers who responded to an internal survey launched by the leading French co-operative, Terrena, remain hostile to the use of GMOs, but want research to continue.
Nearly 12 percent of 26,000 members of Terrena [ie over 3,000 members] responded to the questionnaire, which was released Wednesday, March 5, that the cooperative had circulated to them in January, and their judgment is unequivocal; 66% of them say that GMOs are not the answer to the growing demand for agricultural products, and 54% say that they represent a real threat to the diversity of sources and modes of production. Of farmers interviewed, 61% were in favour of continuing the moratorium on GMOs, 'while the research is progressing'.
'REMAIN BOTH ACTIVE AND CAUTIOUS'
The cooperative thus concludes a vast operation of internal communications aimed at resolving the crisis of confidence that divided its members in 2007. Terrena has been called into question for having put in thirty-five hectares of GM corn seed in July 2007 in Maine-et-Loire without informing its members in advance. However, twenty-seven of those hectares of transgenic maize were systematically mown down by anti-GM activists in the space of one month.
Following the results of the investigation, Terrena decided 'not to market GM seeds in 2008 and 2009 even though it is legally permissable to do so,' said Olivier Chaillou, Board Member of Terrena, on Wednesday. According to him, the members 'are telling us to remain both active and cautious', particularly in research.
Terrena's leaders have announced increased research and development activities, particularly through the Technology Watch [?] and partnerships in the new technologies.