France and the WTO AG Biotech Case

The following contains no commentary; only quotes from a well reported cable release earlier this week. It will quickly become apparent why no commentary is required.


Summary: Mission Paris recommends that that the USG reinforce
our negotiating position with the EU on agricultural biotechnology by
publishing a retaliation list when the extend "Reasonable Time
Period" expires. In our view, Europe is moving backwards not
forwards on this issue with FRANCE playing a leading role, along with
Austria, Italy and even the Commission.

Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path
has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen
European pro-biotech voices.

Both the GOF and the Commission have suggested that their
respective actions should not alarm us since they are only
cultivation rather than import bans. We see the cultivation ban as a
first step, at least by anti-GMO advocates, who will move next to ban
or further restrict imports. (The environment minister's top aide
told us that people have a right not to buy meat raised on biotech

Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a target
retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this is a
collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the
worst culprits. The list should be measured rather than vicious and
must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an
early victory.

It should now be clear, why no commentary is necessary

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