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France renews ban on Monsanto maize planting as a precaution

A photo of Monsanto's MON 810 maize. Authorized in 1998, commercial use of the genetically modified crop remains frozen
A photo of Monsanto's MON 810 maize. Authorized in 1998, commercial use of the genetically modified crop remains frozen AFP PHOTO/Philippe Huguen

France banned the planting of Monsanto maize on Saturday 15 March, ahead of a vote at the National Assembly to impose a wide-sweeping ban on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Paris maintains that GM maize crops present serious environmental risks, but has lost two attempts to outlaw their use.

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French farmers will no longer be able to plant seeds from the maize line MON 810, as of Saturday 15 March. A new decree plans to stop  Monsanto maize from being grown as a measure of precaution.

Fresh scientifc evidence has revealed that the planting of genetically modified maize from the US agro-chemical giant could pose serious risks to the environment. 

French authorities have been trying to establish a new ban on GM corn after a senior court twice struck down previous attempts.

Saturday's decree was timed to avert any sowing of GM maize by farmers before a law banning planting of GMOs is debated at the National Assembly in April.

Environmentalists have welcomed the move, but remain prudent. They want a long-term legal frame work banning GM maize crops, not a stop-gap measure.

EU countries are currently debating changes to domestic and European laws to ensure a long-term ban.

Currently, the MON 810 insect-resistant maize is the only GMO variety authorized in the European Union.

 

 

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