Biotech Updates

France's Agricultural Biotechnology, Advancing Despite Regulatory Hurdles

July 20, 2012

The USDA FAS Global Agricultural Information Network in its recent report has revealed its findings on agricultural biotechnology in France.The country adopted biotech crops early on because of the advantages it brings to the farmers. Bt corn was widely cultivated, then, and huge amounts of imported soybean and dried distiller's grain (DDG's) were imported from the Americas and the United States till 2011. However, regulatory issues, not economical reasons were responsible for France's 180 degree turn against biotech crops. Hence, issues on potential presence of a biotech event not approved in the EU affected importation of DDG's this year.

Even so, the report pointed to the advances in France's research in plant biotechnology especially the one by the National Research Institute in Agriculture (INRA). The Institute invests in biotechnology research using new plant breeding techniques besides transgenesis. There is also a farmer-funded applied research institute called Arvalis that coordinates several programs including biotechnology.

For details, download the 24-page report at