The government of President Nicolas Sarkozy wants the French people to be able to opt for genetically modified organisms (GMOs), not just to opt against them. A proposed law governing GMOs and defining several broad principles has been forwarded to the Conseil d'Etat (the French equivalent to the U.S. Supreme Court) and the executive branch hopes that it will be passed by Parliament by February 2008. Some passages appear positive, like "GMOs cannot be commercialized, cultivated or used except in a manner that is respectful to the environment and public health, and with complete transparency." But these are followed by obvious nods to GMO producers, such as a revision from the right to choose freely to produce and consume "without GMOs" to "the liberty to consume and produce with or without" GMOs. Arnaud Apoteker of Greenpeace said that he is disappointed. "The project doesn't give priority to non-GMO cultivation. It gives the impression that coexistence is possible, whereas the dissemination of GMOs is inevitable." GMO proponents don't see the proposed legislation as completely positive either. A spokesman for seed producers said that the articles that assign responsibility to the GMO users and the seed distributor for any damages caused to neighboring fields due to seed drift, and the need to register usage of GMO seed stock at a more local level than expected "are problematic."
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