The introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in human and animal food has given rise to a fascinating debate in Europe. Yet, in France and in the European Union, introducing GMOs in food cannot be done without prior permission. This permission can only be granted after a complete scientific procedure of risk assessment for health and environment has been carried out. In spite of these precautions, French/European public opinion remains predominantly quite hostile: our own investigations show that 89% of French opinion is opposed to the presence of GMOs in their food and 79% think GMOs should be purely and simply forbidden. A recent European Union regulation (180/2003) has given a framework for the traceability and labelling of GMOs. This regulation ensures complete and reliable information to consumers, letting them choose with full knowledge of the facts. In practical terms, the EU has decided to impose the note “contains GMOs” on transgenic products. To be exempt from the label there must not be more than a 0,9% trace of GMOs in the ingredients of the product, introduced in an accidental or technically unavoidable way. Are these measures likely to convince consumers to accept GMOs?


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