French court overturns GMO ban
France’s ban on growing a strain of genetically modified maize developed by Monsanto Company was overturned by France’s highest court last week. The move is significant since France’s government and citizens have been some of the most outspoken critics of GM technology in food crops.
The recent decision follows a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in early September that said France had based its decision to establish a moratorium on growing Monsanto’s insect-resistant MON810 maize on the wrong EU legislation.
The ECJ had stated that member states could only ban or suspend measures when the state could demonstrate potentially serious risks to human or animal health or the environment.
France’s highest court could not find that MON810 posed a serious threat.
Monsanto told Reuters that it “welcomed support for a science and evidence-based approach to GM crop policy in the EU.”
This move could represent a shift in EU policy in the future. However, Greenpeace has said it would urge action to stop this strain’s cultivation before the next planting season.
Only two GMO varieties are approved to be grown in the EU.