France's highest administrative court rejected on Thursday a government ban on growing Monsanto's MON810 genetically modified maize (corn).

In its ruling, the Conseil d'Etat said under European Union law such a measure could only be imposed in an emergency or if there was a serious health or environmental risk.

This marks the second time in two years that the State Council has overturned a government ban on growing MON810. France, which is the EU's largest grain producer and a vocal opponent of GMO crops, has argued the technology poses environmental risks.

The ruling was expected after a preliminary hearing earlier this month found there was no scientific justification for the ban. The government has said it remains opposed to the cultivation of Monsanto's GMO maize.