France created a new temporary ban on the cultivation of Monsanto’s Mon 810 corn on Friday. The prior prohibition was annulled by the French Administrative Court. At the time the Minister of Agriculture vowed to find new ways of implementing the ban. France’s president has voiced his strong support for the ban and opposition to the cultivation of the genetically engineered Maize. Anti-GMOs had called on the French government to act quickly, concerned that farmers may sow the plants sometimes dubbed as “Frankenstein foods”.
The French government’s request to the EU Commission was based on “significant risks for the environment” shown in recent scientific studies, and that it was acting conservatively in advance of spring sowings. The decree banning MON810 was due to be published on Sunday.
“Because of the approach of sowing, the minister of Agriculture decided today to take a conservative measure to temporarily ban MON810 maize on national land in order to protect the environment,” Prime Minister Francois Fillon said in a statement.
France, by far the EU’s largest grain grower, invoked a so-called safeguard clause, reviving a ban put in place in 2008 and overturned by the country’s highest court in November on the basis that it was not sufficiently justified.
France, which holds a presidential election next month and where public opinion is fiercely opposed to genetically modified organisms (GMO), had asked the European Commission last month to suspend the authorization to sow the maize (corn), the only GMO crop allowed for cultivation in the European Union.