France maintains tough line on Monsanto maize after ruling
Sep. 12, 2011
France will, if necessary, issue a new ban on the genetically modified maize of US biochemicals company Monsanto, Environment Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said Thursday, after the European Court of Justice ruled France's current ban on the maize was defective.
Under emergency measures allowed by an EU directive on genetically modified organisms, France, in 2008, banned the cultivation of Monsanto's genetically modified MON 810 seed.
At the time France declared the maize presented 'serious risks for the environment.'
But the European court ruled that France should not be able to unilaterally ban the maize without proving it poses 'a clear and serious risk.'
'If the French clause is cancelled for procedural reasons, we will take out a new safeguard clause ... because the environmental questions (around MON 810) are still unanswered,' Kosciusko-Morizet said.
The matter now lies with the Council of State, France's highest court on matters of public administration.
Petitioned by Monsanto, the Council asked the European Court of Justice for an opinion on whether the country could justify its unilateral ban under the EU directive.
The Council must now decide whether or not to cancel the French decision.
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