GM maize ban lifted in France

France’s highest court has found a 2008 ban on Monsanto’s GM maize, MON810 was illegal.

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The ban was challenged by the French seed association, the seed production association, the national maize growers’ association and individual farmers. Several French environmental NGOs also joined the case in order to defend the ban. Monsanto was not a party to the case. The court found that the suspension was unjustified with respect to existing policies and that there was no evidence of a risk requiring urgent action.

The court confirmed that a ban could be invoked only if circumstances constituted a clear and serious risk to human health, animal health or the environment. MON810 is the only biotech crop grown on a commercial scale in the European Union.
France’s agricultural minister, Stephane Le Follm hinted that other legal actions could be taken if the ban was lifted. He later announced that authorities would take a fresh decision on whether or not to ban MON810 before the planting season started in April 2014.