France's Chirac says not yet ready to accept GMOs
GMOs are a sensitive issue in the European Union. The bloc has a moratorium on the growing of GMO crops, which has now been challenged at the World Trade Organisation by the United States.
At the end of May, ahead of the Group of Eight summit in Evian, U.S. President George W. Bush had urged the European Union to drop its opposition to GM crops pioneered by U.S biotechnology firms.
Chirac said it was to early for that.
"We have to make sure that GMOs answer real needs and that the precautionary principle is respected," Chirac told an international meeting of young farmers in Paris.
"To me, these conditions do not seem to be fulfilled today."
He also rejected the idea that a policy be imposed on France in this matter.
"Each country should be able to make the choice (of adopting GMOs) as a sovereign nation and in a responsible way," he said.