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France Upholds GM Maize Ban Despite Court Ruling

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.
The French Government is to continue with its ban on a genetically modified (GM) strain of maize, even though the ban was ruled to be unlawful last year.

In November, France's highest court overturned the 2008 ban on cultivating Monsanto's MON810, an insect-resistant strain of maize which is grown in several European countries.

The court ruled that the Government had not produced enough evidence to back its claims that the GM crop posed a significant risk to health or the environment.

That ruling was prompted by a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in September, in a case brought by Monsanto, that the ban was invalid because the French Government had not followed proper procedure.

But French environment and agriculture ministers have said in a statement that, following meetings with farming groups, they are going to maintain the ban.

Five other EU countries - Germany, Greece, Austria, Luxemburg and Hungary - also ban MON810 cultivation.

Anti-GM campaigners welcomed the announcement. GM Freeze campaign director Pete Riley said: "We wholeheartedly welcome the French Government's determination to press on with the ban on cultivating Monsanto's GM MON810 maize.

"This is yet another indication that the science underpinning the EU approvals process does not have the confidence of most citizens.