France plans to ignore court and restore GM corn ban

France plans to ignore court and restore GM corn ban

PARIS, France (Reuters) — France has launched a move to restore a ban on genetically modified corn that was annulled by its top court.

It hopes to prevent the variety from being seeded this spring, which could raise public outcry in a country strongly opposed to GM crops.

A senator of the ruling Socialist party has submitted a draft law that would prohibit the cultivation of any variety of GM corn.

France’s previous bans on GM corn, which applied only to Monsanto’s MON 810, had all been overturned by the country’s highest administrative court for lacking sufficient scientific grounds.

MON 810 is the only GM crop allowed for cultivation in the European Union.

The new measure would also apply to any strain adopted in the future, including the insect-resistant corn known as Pioneer 1507 developed jointly by DuPont and Dow Chemical, which the EU could approve later this year.

A German government spokesperson said Berlin would abstain in an upcoming vote to approve cultivation of the 1507 corn.

The French Senate could vote on the proposed law as soon as Feb. 17 before being passed to the lower house, a farm ministry official said.

Implementation of the ban would be monitored by inspectors, and GM crops would be 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.

Monsanto says its GM corn is safe.

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