According to several studies presented in late December to the network of European experts on the co-existence between conventional and GMO crops, many farmers in the EU are apparently willing to adopt transgenics, provided that measures aimed at preventing contamination are not prohibitive.

Experts from the Joint Research Centre (JRC) consider that there is "very high" potential for the adoption of herbicide tolerant oilseeds and maize, as well as Bt maize. Forty-four to 53% of the farmers surveyed by the JRC in six EU countries (Germany, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Spain, France and Hungary) are prepared to plant this type of seed. The appeal of herbicide tolerant maize is less pronounced, however (37% to 38%).

These figures nevertheless depend to a large extent on the co-existence measures put in place by EU member states. The rules feared most by potential users of GMOs are the obligation to pay compensation to nearby farms in case of contamination, a GMO tax or the introduction of an insurance mechanism to cover dissemination risks. In addition, beyond a certain distance of mandatory separation of crops to avoid contamination, many farmers would prefer to abandon GMOs. According to the JRC surveys, more than half the farmers growing transgenic oilseeds would go back to using conventional seed beyond the 25 metres of mandatory distance from non-GMO crops. This figure rises to 70% beyond 50 metres.

According to a study carried out recently by independent legal experts on behalf of the European Commission, to...

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