Nov. 14, 2007
A Brazilian federal judge last month suspended the approval for the sale of Monsanto's genetically modified corn borer-resistant MON810 maize. The ruling also prohibits the Brazilian approval body, the national technical commission for biosafety, the CTNBio, from approving further such petitions until the judge's biosafety demands are met. The case was brought by the public prosecutor's office, which has opposed moves by the commission to authorise GM crops for over a year.
The ruling is the second such verdict this year. A federal judge suspended the approval of Bayer CropScience's GM glufosinate-tolerant LibertyLink maize and any subsequent GMO registrations in June. Bayer commented at the time that the verdict was preliminary and did not revoke the product's approval.
Following that judgement, the CTNBio adopted co-existence measures and a monitoring plan to assess the post-approval marketing of GM maize. The co-existence plan covered two types of planting: 100 m separation between GM maize and other crops; and 20 m buffer zones planted with conventional maize. Monsanto's product was approved by the commission at the same meeting in August.
In last month's ruling, the judge found that the biosafety measures adopted by the commission were insufficient. -They do not address the precautionary principle set out in the  biosafety law." The CTNBio is appealing the decision.
Monsanto's MON810 was the second of three GM maize products to be provisionally approved for cultivation. The third was Syngenta's GM corn borer-resistant Bt11 maize, which the CTNBio passed in early October.