Chirac cuts radical farmer's jail sentence
PARIS, July 10 (Reuters) - French President Jacques Chirac on Thursday cut the jail sentence of radical farmer Jose Bove for destroying genetically-modified crops, but failed to grant him the full pardon demanded by his supporters. Chirac intervened personally to reduce Bove's 10-month prison term by two months. Bove will spend a little more than five months in the prison near the southern city of Montpellier where he was sent last month. Bove's arrest on June 22 prompted a public outcry. Police smashed their way into his home near Montpellier, bundled him into a helicopter and flew him to jail. He had originally been convicted in November to 14 months in jail for ripping up genetically modified rice and maize plants in separate incidents in 1998 and 1999. His sentence was reduced to 10 months by a local court in February.
Scandal highlights loopholes in new European legislation
Over 100 farmers in Northern Italy have discovered that non-genetically engineered (GE) maize seeds that they bought and planted, were in fact contaminated. The 400 hectares of GE contaminated maize will soon flower, so government officials and farmers leaders in the Piemonte region are meeting to work out what to do with the maize to stop further contamination.
GM saboteur returns to Syngenta site
Reading Chronicle, UK
ONE of the protestors who destroyed a wheat field at Syngenta's Jealott's Hill Research Station has returned to the site to explain to employees why she did it. Syngenta had claimed the crop was not genetically modified and that many employees had been upset by the destruction of their hard work. Rowan Tilly, from Brighton, handed out leaflets at the site and said: "I pulled up wheat which I understood to be a GM trial. I ask for their understanding that we did not intend to damage their non-GM research." Rowan said that the protesters had visited the site five times to make sure they got the right crop. And she claimed: "Previously I have had direct experience of false claims being made by companies and host farmers about people decontaminating GM crops.
Remarks by President Bush and President Mogae of Botswana
Whitehouse.gov (press release)
BUSH: The other part of the problem is the lack of technological development in agriculture. And we talked about the need for genetically-modified crops throughout the continent of Africa.
Codex adopts guidelines on GM food safety
The United Nations advisory body on food safety, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, has adopted a landmark agreement on how to assess the risks to consumers from foods derived from biotechnology, including genetically modified foods. These guidelines lay out broad general principles intended to make the analysis an management of risks related to foods derived from biotechnology uniform across Codex's 169 member countries. Provisions of the guidelines include pre-market safety evaluations and product tracing for recall purpose and post-market monitoring. They include provisions for determining if the product may provoke unexpected allergies in consumers.
Current US regulatory practice does not meet these standards.
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