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French court overturns ban on Monsanto GM crops

Getty Images/Digital Vision/Lawrence Lawry

France's top administrative court on Monday overturned a government order banning French farmers from planting genetically modified crops from the US agriculture giant Monsanto.

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The French ministry of agriculture imposed a ban in February 2008 amid concerns
over public safety, but its decision had already been called into question by the European Court and has now been annulled by the France’s State Council.

The State Council's ruling said that the government has failed to prove that Monsanto crops "present a particularly elevated level of risk to either human health or the environment."

In September, the European Court of Justice ordered France to review its ban.

Since then, the Council found, the French government has failed to present new evidence of the supposed dangers posed by the plants.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's government did not immediately respond to Monday's ruling, but has said in the past that if the ban was overturned it would seek a new legal "safety clause" to restrict planting.

The environment ministry wants to halt planting of "genetically modified organisms that have not been evaluated for conformity to new EU rules or about which there is uncertainty about their potential environmental impact."

 

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