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Online discussions on socio-economic considerations

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Forum 1: Focused discussion on experiences in considering socio-economic aspects in decision taking on LMOs (discussion to take place during week 1 of the forum)

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France [#9860]
Participants are invited to comment on and add views to the submission by France in this thread.
posted on 2019-09-08 23:44 UTC by Ms. Paola Scarone, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
RE: France [#9870]
Let me thank France for a great submission. I wish to acknowledge the limitations of the Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA) as highlighted in the submissions and its indeed a clear keypoint to address in AHTEG as it seems to cut across nations and not particularly Europe.

It is also very necessary that Nations should acknowledge and highly implement the view that "socio-economic analysis of a given GMO is meant to be a dynamic decision". Therefore should always be open to future re-examination depending on the evolution of knowledge and data on the GMO. On this view, Nigeria process is in tandem with France.

I would wish France to let us know their SE consideration standpoint  as regards the GM Mosquito for vector control since it was used as a case study.. Since the symposium in 2017, how far is the implementation of the recommendations as regards SE consideration of GM mosquito?  How possible is it to share the EESC 2017 report on the case study as highlighted?

Onyeka Nwosu
posted on 2019-09-09 09:27 UTC by Mr. Onyeka Kingsley Nwosu, Nigeria
RE: France [#9875]
Dear Mr. Onyeka Nwosu,
Thank you for your attentive reading of our report.
To date, no request has been made for the use of genetically modified mosquitoes in France, so the EESC recommendation on the genetically modified mosquitoes has not been applied and has has not led to any evolution so far.

You can find the full report on this link : http://www.hautconseildesbiotechnologies.fr/sites/www.hautconseildesbiotechnologies.fr/files/file_fields/2018/04/12/hcbceesmosquitoesrecommandationen.pdf

I hope I answered your question.

Thank you for your attention,
Dr. Lucie Guimier
posted on 2019-09-09 14:31 UTC by Dr. Lucie Guimier, France
RE: France [#9876]
Thanks Dr Lucie Guimer for the information and the link.
Having glanced through the document, I must say that it was indeed a critical study as the subheadings of its recommendations indeed recognized socioeconomic issues especially public engagement.

So in terms of importing of GM crops for food, feed, processing or industrial use, Are there obvious SE considerations by France?
posted on 2019-09-09 15:21 UTC by Mr. Onyeka Kingsley Nwosu, Nigeria
RE: France [#9891]
Dear Mr. Onyeka Nwosu

In France, the Economic, Ethic and Social Committee (EESC) of the HCB relies on an evaluation grid to ensure a structured assessment of the various types of files that the EESC has to handle, this grid is dedicated to the socio-economic evaluation of GM crops.

The socio-economic analysis emphasises consideration on production environment, the need for allowing coexistence of the different agricultural practices, sustainable development goals and inclusiveness in public debate.
The EESC pays particular attention to two aspects: assessment of GMOs in the context of alternative solutions and comparison of possible innovation trajectories, with the focus on identifying as clearly as possible the impact of authorisation or non-authorisation. These considerations are examined around four key issues: why is the genetically modified plant (GMP) proposed and for which cropping systems? Comparison of possible trajectories and identification of possible lock-in effects; What are the impacts of cultivation of the GMP on social, cultural, environmental, health, planning and agronomic sustainability? Understanding of and support for scientific and technological solutions among the public and consumers.
It should be mentioned that the HCB is not a competent authority, the recommendation provided by the EESC being rather conceived as a guide, based on informed deliberation between stakeholders, delivered to the French government which will makes its own decision. It is noteworthy that this framework became particularly important in light of the EU directive 2015/412 that gives member states the possibility to restrict or prohibit cultivation of authorised GM crops in their territory (opt‐out mechanism) on the basis of compelling grounds laid down in the directive, which can be of socio-economic nature. However, such Directive does not concern importation authorization, which remain bound to decision taken at the EU level.
posted on 2019-09-11 09:08 UTC by Dr. Lucie Guimier, France
RE: France [#9892]
Dr. Lucie Guimier
If you can give references to literature available in English on implementation of Article 26.1 in France it will be useful.
krishna ravi srinivas
posted on 2019-09-11 09:21 UTC by Dr. Krishna Ravi Srinivas, India
RE: France [#9894]
Dear Pr. Srinivas,

The EESC refers to Article 26(1) of the  Protocol in its work, but we have never really been asked for a referral about its implementation or reflection on it.
posted on 2019-09-11 13:56 UTC by Dr. Lucie Guimier, France
RE: France [#9908]
Dear all

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this discussion.

I think that the focus of the French approach on these two aspects – assessment of GMOs in the context of alternative solutions (including describing and placing the GMO in its technical production environment); and comparison of possible innovation trajectories, with the focus on identifying as clearly as possible the impact of authorisation or non-authorisation – is useful and consistent with the “Guidance on the Assessment of Socio-Economic Considerations in the Context of Article 26 of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety”.

For example, the Guidance includes the consideration of “alternatives to address the stated problem” in the Scoping phase (Step 1 of Stage B), while the evaluation of assessment outcomes may be based on “comparison with available alternatives to the living modified organism” (Step 3 of Stage B).

In this regard the discussion points and evaluation grid used by the EESC of the HCB offer useful examples of how the Guidance may be supplemented.

kind regards
Lim Li Ching
Third World Network
posted on 2019-09-13 13:43 UTC by Ms. Li Ching Lim, Third World Network
RE: France [#9918]
First of all I would like to thank France for a very insightful and relevant submission.
So far it is one of the very few submissions that highlights the relation between the existing system and the voluntary Guidance made by the AHTEG. Moreover, It pinpoints some of the principles and elements of the voluntary guidance and highlights their importance and how they are already included in the french system.

The submission does not talk about the cost/benefit analysis but rather about Assessment of GMOs in the context of alternative solutions that may solve the same problem compared to genetic engineering and so comparing possible innovation trajectories, with the focus on identifying as clearly as possible the impact of authorisation or non-authorisation and in this regards 4 guiding principles were highlighted:
1. why has the GM plant been proposed ?(meaning what is the problem that we aim to solve with the development and use of the GM plants) and in which agriculture sytem ? (for example subsistence farming and industrialized agriculture system may have different challenges so the GM plant proposed to solve one problem in industrialized agriculture may have no added value and even cause problem in a system based mainly on small scale farmers.
2. Comparing the possible trajectories of innovation, aiming to define as much as possible the impact of authorization or refusal of authorization
3. What are the impact of the agriculture of the genetically modified plant on the sustainability in its social, cultural, environmental, health, territorial and agronomic dimensions
4. Perception and acceptance of the citizen and consumers to the scientifc and technical evolutions

I thank again France for the submission. Yet being a French speaker myself I noticed that the courtesy translation was not very accurate and distorted the meaning in some places so I assume it is machine based translation.

(edited on 2019-09-14 09:15 UTC by Ossama AbdelKawy)
posted on 2019-09-14 09:13 UTC by Prof Ossama AbdelKawy, Seychelles