The recent poll was included alongside news that the French ecology ministry had called for an EU wide ban on the cultivation of the genetically modified maize crop MON810 produced by US agriculture and biotechnology giant Monsanto - found here.
In a statement, the French ministry said it had asked European regulators to overturn the authorisation for the use of the GM crop adding that the request was "based on the latest scientific studies" which show the use of the GM crops "pose significant risks for the environment."
The FoodNavigator poll, which ran alongside the news of the French calls for the past two weeks, received 927 votes from readers in the food industry – with more than more than two thirds (73%) voting ‘yes’ in favour of a ban on the GM product. Just over a fifth (21%) of our readers who responded to the poll disagreed and voted no – believing that GM ‘is the future’.
Very few respondents were undecided on the issue, with just 1% citing that the decision was ‘a tough call’, and only 3% believing that more data is needed before regulators can come up with an answer to the ‘debate’ over GM crops
Is an EU-wide ban needed?
In its recent statement, the French Government warned the European Commission (EC) that even if it did not overturn the authorisation for MON810 on an EU wide basis, the French nation would use a clause that would allow its ban.
The so called ‘safe-guard clause’ provides that where an EU member state “has justifiable reasons to consider that a GMO, which has received written consent for placing on the market, constitutes a risk to human health or the environment, it may provisionally restrict or prohibit the use and/or sale of that product on its territory.”
"If the European Union does not act, we can invoke the safeguard clause," said the French ministry.
Currently, six other EU nations ban the cultivation of GM corn under the clause: Germany, Hungary, Greece, Luxembourg, Austria and Belgium.