PARIS Feb 5 France has launched a move to
restore a ban on genetically modified (GMO) maize annulled by
its top court to prevent sowings this spring that could raise
public outcry in a country strongly opposed to GMO crops.
A Senator of the ruling Socialist party submitted a draft
law on Tuesday calling for the cultivation of any variety of
genetically modified maize to be prohibited in the country.
France's previous bans on GMO maize, which only applied to
Monsanto's MON 810, the sole GMO crop allowed for
cultivation in the European Union, had all been overturned by
the country's highest administrative court as lacking sufficient
The new measure would also apply to any strain adopted in
the future, including the insect-resistant maize known as
Pioneer 1507 developed jointly by DuPont and Dow Chemical
, which could be approved by the EU later this year.
A German government spokesman said on Wednesday Berlin would
abstain in an upcoming vote to approve cultivation of the 1507
The proposed French law could be voted by the Senate as soon
as Feb. 17 before being passed to the lower house, a French farm
ministry official said on Wednesday.
The implementation of the ban would be monitored by
inspectors and GMO crops destroyed, the draft legislation says.
France, the EU's largest grain producer, has argued the
technology poses environmental risks, referring to studies by
the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA).
Monsanto says its GMO maize is safe.