EU Rejects France's Ban on Monsanto's GM Corn
Europe's food safety agency on Monday rejected France's temporary ban on a strain of Monsanto's genetically modified maize.
The EU food safety body, the European Food Safety Authority, found that "there is no specific scientific evidence, in terms of risk to human and animal health or the environment" to support a ban.
In March France had imposed a new temporary ban on Monsanto's MON810 maize citing "significant risks for the environment."
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The Guardian: French ban of Monsanto GM maize rejected by EU
France's attempt to ban the planting of a Monsanto strain of genetically modified maize was rejected by the EU's food safety body on Monday.
In response to scientific evidence submitted by France backing its bid to ban the GM maize, the European Food Safety Authority ruled that "there is no specific scientific evidence, in terms of risk to human and animal health or the environment" to support a ban.
In 2008, France banned the the strain MON 810 following public protests against the GM maize, but this was overturned by a French court in 2011. However, in March the French government reinstated the ban, with the then agricultural minister Bruno Le Maire saying the move was "to protect the environment".
The Monsanto-owned strain, marketed as YieldGard by the US company, is an insect-resistant strain of maize that was introduced in 1997.
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Agence France-Presse: EU Food Agency Rejects France Ban on Monsanto's YieldGuard GM Maize
A spokesman for Europe's health commissioner John Dalli said the EU executive "will consider how to follow up on this ruling, though technically we could ask France to raise its ban" on MON 810.
"The commission will wait for the conclusions of the next environment ministers' meeting June 11 in Luxembourg and hopes for a positive outcome to its proposals for cultivation, which have been blocked for almost two years by France and others," spokesman Frederic Vincent told AFP.