France to continue ban on GM crops

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France announced that its ban on the cultivation of genetically modified crops will remain in effect, according to Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. Despite a recent ruling from the European Court of Justice that genetically modified crops cannot be subject to individual nation’s authorization because the European bloc already approved their use and marketing, France is continuing its ban.

The ban is primarily against Monsanto’s MON810 corn, which is the only GM crop approved in the EU.

"The government is keeping its moratorium on the cultivation of GMO seeds currently authorized in the European Union," Ayrault told an environmental conference in Paris, Reuters reported.

France is under increasing pressure to ease its anti-GMO policy as other member states are concerned about Europe losing its competitiveness in the world grain market. Earlier this year, it was announced that there was no scientific evidence that justified the ban against GMOs.

The country remains reluctant to budge on the issue of GMOs and appears to be tightening regulations against crop protection as well. Along with the announcement that France was not going to lift its GMO ban anytime soon, Ayrault also stated that the government intends to ban crop dusting except in cases where there was no viable alternative. This statement underscores the government’s plan to reduce the use of chemicals in agriculture.

France’s president also stressed that he wanted more of the country’s renewable fuels to make up a larger percentage of France’s energy sources. Renewable fuels currently make up 13 percent, which is far short of the 23 percent goal set by former president Nicolas Sarkozy for 2020.  

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