In bid for US support, French candidate to head UN agricultural agency says she’s not necessarily opposed to GMO or gene-edited crops

Image: Cam Cottrill

Europe’s candidate to run the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which guides policymakers around the world, has promised the US she will “not defend the EU position” in resisting the global spread of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

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Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle

In a bid for US support, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle told senior US officials at a meeting in Washington on 15 May that under her leadership the FAO would be more open to American interests and accepting of GMOs and gene editing, according to a US official record of the meeting …. The French candidate also promised to hire a US deputy director if she won the top job, in a contest to be decided at the end of June.

Asked for comment about Geslain-Lanéelle’s offer to Washington, her campaign manager at the French agriculture ministry, Hervé Durand, and the French embassy in Washington pointed to public remarks she had made when candidates put their case to a FAO plenary meeting in April.

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“Biotechnology is also very useful,” she said at the April meeting. “I will support biotechnologies, of course, including GMO and gene editing. I think it’s important.”

Read full, original article: Candidate to run global food body will ‘not defend’ EU stance on GM

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