Activists destroy conventional rapeseed (canola) fields in France, claiming they are GMOs

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[Editor’s note: This excerpt was translated from the French by Google translate. It is lightly edited for clarity.]

Several dozen anti-GM activists destroyed two rapeseed fields near Dijon [on Nov. 27], considering these plants as genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

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“There are no more transgenic GMOs grown in France since the moratorium but there are still imports of transgenic plants and are now grown GMOs obtained by mutagenesis,” said [Annick. Bossu, a member of “voluntary reapers” the anti-GM group], specifying that they were “recognized as GMO by the European Directive 2001-18, but excluded from its scope.”

According to Bossu, “GMOs by mutagenesis are as dangerous as transgenic GMOs, the plant becomes a sponge with herbicides.”

[Editor’s note:  The targeted plots were growing a rapeseed variety developed to be tolerant to herbicides through mutagenesis, the process of provoking crop mutations using laboratory procedures. The process was developed in the 1930s. Seeds are bombarded with radiation or toxic chemicals to create random mutations that ultimately lead to new crops. They are considered conventional and can be sold as organic if they are grown following organic practices. There are more than 3000 plants developed through mutagenesis, many sold as organic, such as sweet Ruby Red grapefruits and most high-end Italian durum wheat used to make organic pasta.]

The Dijon Céréales scientific research and development director, Frédéric Imbert [said]
“Dijon Céréales respects the rules, we do not sell GMO and the plants in question are not classified GMO,” he told AFP.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read the full length article translated by Google Translate: Côte-d’Or: anti-GM militants destroy rapeseed plots

Read full post in original French: Côte-d’Or: des militants anti-OGM détruisent des parcelles de colza

  • alex

    Yeah facts reality reason and logic have never worried anti science morons yet why would they apply such basic principles now

  • Samuel Leuenberger

    I think the most interesting assertion from these nutcases is this one: “these [GMO obtained by mutagenesis] are labelled as GMOs by the EU directive 2001-18 but excluded from it’s scope of applicability”.

    I’ll go check this directive, it’s really interesting because one way of getting rid of this nonsensical GMO classification is to apply it to almost everything as it should be scientifically speaking, so if we could end-up labelling everything GMO maybe the legislators will start realize how stupid they have been.

    • Samuel Leuenberger

      Haha yes that’s correct, oh the hypocrisy written in the law.
      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:32001L0018

      Article 3
      Exemptions
      1. This Directive shall not apply to organisms obtained through the techniques of genetic modification listed in Annex I B.
      […]

      ANNEX I B
      TECHNIQUES REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 3
      Techniques/methods of genetic modification yielding organisms to be excluded from the Directive, on the condition that they do not involve the use of recombinant nucleic acid molecules or genetically modified organisms other than those produced by one or more of the techniques/methods listed below are:
      (1) mutagenesis,
      (2) cell fusion (including protoplast fusion) of plant cells of organisms which can exchange genetic material through traditional breeding methods.

  • Mackinz

    I agree that all organisms are “GMO”. It’s part of the reason why I support genetic engineering. All organisms undergo genetic modification through evolution, ergo all organisms are “GMO”s. Why concern yourself with “GMOs” when you, yourself, are one? Worry about specific instances where “GMO”s are shown to be harmful – introduced species, destructive parasites, etc. Genetic engineering is one of the ways we can combat them, like mosquitoes which are sterile and cannot breed, which eliminates disease ridden mosquitoes.

    • morphd

      You mentioned introduced species – those can be thought of as transferring complete genomes from one ecosystem (where predators and parasites co-evolved) to another ecosystem. Those introduced species sometimes become invasive and cause massive ecological and economic damage.

      A more restricted mass-transfer of genetic material happens in traditional breeding. Probably the best known unintended consequence of that method occurred when African honeybees were crossed with European honeybees in Brazil and some of the progeny escaped to start the “Killer Bee” debacle. Somewhat less onerous unintended consequences have also occurred within traditional plant breeding https://www.nap.edu/read/10977/chapter/5#41

      Considering that these massive transfers of genetic material have sometimes caused significant harm, it’s perplexing why the scientifically-informed transfer of one or a few genes via genetic engineering methods should elicit so much more concern.