France bans Monsanto GM maize ahead of sowing season

PARIS, March 15 Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:11am EDT

PARIS, March 15 (Reuters) - France's agriculture ministry on Saturday banned the sale, use and cultivation of Monsanto's MON 810 genetically modified maize, the only variety currently authorised in the European Union.

The French government, which maintains that GM crops present environmental risks, has been trying to institute a new ban on GM maize (corn) after its highest court has twice previously struck down similar measures.

The decision is timed to avert any sowing of GM maize by farmers before a draft law is debated on April 10 aimed at banning planting of GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

"The sale, use and cultivation of varieties of maize seed from the line of genetically modified maize MON 810 (...) is banned in the country until the adoption, on the one hand, of a final decision, and secondly, of (EU) community action, " said a decree published on Saturday.

Annual sowing of maize in France gets under way in the second half of March.

The current Socialist government, like its conservative predecessor, has opposed the growing of GMO crops in light of public suspicion and widespread protests from environmentalists.

Longstanding differences between EU countries resurfaced in February when they failed to agree on whether or not to approve another GM maize variety, Pioneer 1507, developed by DuPont and Dow Chemical, leaving the way open to the EU Commission to clear it for cultivation.

France is trying to win support to overhaul the EU rules.

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Comments (6)
TheNewWorld wrote:
No one cares. French men can all be small and weak compared to the GMO men of the US. Nothing new. My 9 year old is taller than most of the adults in the rest of the planet. I agree, you little people should be scared.

Mar 17, 2014 6:05am EDT  --  Report as abuse
RAH123 wrote:
Paris can take a deep breath, oh wait, they need to hold their breath due to the smog. Maybe somebody has their priorities a little off?

Mar 17, 2014 12:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MischaPopoff wrote:
One of these days the elitist snobs in the French Parliament are going to stop grandstanding and listen to French farmers who want to grow GMOs instead of watching their country import them from America.

Mar 18, 2014 4:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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