Jun 25, 2018 in Research

France and Genetically Engineered Food


The inception of the genetically modified (engineered) products was first recognized in United States of America though it drastically spread to other countries like France ( Miller 2002). There has been rampant use of these products across France though the government has not authorized its consumption (Heller 2006). The genetically modified products lack the taste and nutrition necessary human development.

Background (Literature review)

Genetically engineered products in France

Survey done by the French Ministry about ecology shows an 81% approval of the government’s idea to suspend the marketing of genetically modified corn (MON810) grown in France even though 69% of the French in the survey believe in the consumption of products which does not contain genetically modified organisms (GMO) ( Miller 2002). A 71% of the French proposed that any product labeled “without GMO” should absolutely contain no element of the genetically modified elements (Wilson and Teitel 2001) .

This is to mean the labeling in France should be done in accordance with the amount of genetically modified elements in the product (Heller 2006). This survey promotes ecological organizations who are worried about the outcomes of pro-GMO ( Miller 2002). There have been conflicts between environmental activists and scientists with environmental activists launching hunger strikes and crop ripping (Wilson and Teitel 2001). Some of these activists are now taking the side of pro-GMO lobbies which wants to have the process banned in France ( Miller 2002). The Minister for Ecology in France Jean-Louis Borloo invited all people to maintain calmness and to comply to the compromises got from Grenelle conference on the subject of genetically modified organisms and assured the citizens that the funds for research on this matter given to biotechnologists would be increased by eight times.

According to the French president, Sarkozy the engagements of Grenelle were to be respected but if the parliament questioned of the transparency behind growing crops which are genetically modified, the accountability in case of the food contamination and the principles which governs the production and consumption of this products then it will be opposed by the government (Heller 2006). Some officials of the European Union have been so cautious about the consumption of products which endangered the lives of delicate ecosystems, like insects and fish but others have been fighting for an ease in restrictions so as to ensure adequate supply of seeds to farmers in France, and therefore making Europe to be competitive and especially in times when food prices begin to skyrocket( Miller 2002) .

The European Agriculture Commissioner warned farm ministers against resisting the importation of genetically modified foods as this had led to an increase cost of raising pigs and chicken and hence threatening the meat industry (Heller 2006). France being the EUs largest agricultural producer has been the sixth to ban the growth of genetically modified crops except Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn (MON810). There has been importation of genetically modified corn from outside Europe o France which is used to feed cows and chicken.

An environmental revolution called by the France president in October 2007 where the use of non-energy saving bulbs by 2010 was to be banned together with the production of genetically modified food for commercial purposes. Future principles concerning the environment were also discussed. The conclusion of Grenelle de l environment negotiations led to the announcement of the initiatives. According to the president there are three reasons to explain why the government wanted to avoid the growth of genetically modified foods which included the doubts about their effects to health and environment, their usefulness and their uncontrolled dissemination (Heller 2006). The president who at times made unexpected decisions caused a great disappointment on the part of his country man through his introduction of a temporary freezing of the genetically modified seeds though their results of review was not established at the point of his announcement. This disappointment was timely since the National Assembly of France was contemplating on extending the even before the review results could be known ( Miller 2002).

Every decade on the planet sees the cropping up of several activist, in this case which involves the consumption of genetically modified crops, an activist of the French nationality, Jose Bove, who is an anti-globalization begun his long journey of publicizing hunger strike that would help in forcing the government to impose a one year ban on the organisms ( Miller 2002). This declaration of the activist bore results within duration of one week when the government heard their plea and brought the use of genetically modified corn to a suspension which was through a statement from the office of the prime minister  (Wilson and Teitel 2001).

The statement indicated that the decision was due to an effort by a panel that reviewed the technology behind the development of the genetically modified corn and found it worth for supplementary scrutiny on health and the effects the products would cause to the environment (Heller 2006). The genetically modified seed of a corn, MON 810 which is characterized by its capability of resisting some insects was introduced in France in 1999 before the government ordered moratorium on genetically modified products (Wilson and Teitel 2001). In France, due to the fact that there is great consciousness on matters dealing with green as well as in strong agricultural traditions the genetically modified crop issue remains extremely controversial ( Miller 2002). France is the top agricultural producer in Europe and its farmland is covered by about one percent of the genetically modified crops.


In conclusion, the consumption of genetically modified (engineered) products has been disregarded in France with majority of citizens rubbishing the products off. Despite the introduction of the genetically modified food products being seen as a technology that will help in development of agriculture on the planet, it is seen as a health hazard in France which is likely to cause adverse effects on the environment (Heller 2006). Therefore the government of France should devise a way in which it sees the implementation of consumption of the genetically modified products to its citizens since they can be a great obstacle in realizing the vision of the genetically modified product in the global arena (Wilson and Teitel 2001).

This strategy will be of great importance since the consumption of the genetically modified products does not automatically amount to being a health hazard since it has proven otherwise in other countries such as the United States off America (Heller 2006). The people of France together with the government need to empress the new technology that is aimed at taking the agricultural world in new greater heights with more efficient production of quality products which are fit for human consumption.

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