by Sarah Lazare
May 5, 2014
Prohibition applies to all
and future varieties of GM
Pioneer's PR39F58 maize,
(Photo: Wikimedia /
The French government on Monday
officially banned any strain of genetically modified corn from
growing in its soil.
The prohibition is effective immediately and comes as France's top
court upheld and the Senate confirmed an existing ban on all current
and future varieties.
As Agence France-Presse
With Paris having twice put
temporary bans on GM crops - in 2011 and 2013 - [lobbyists for
the biotech industry] said Monday's verdicts were "not a
The agriculture ministry banned
MON810 - the only
insect-resistant GM corn allowed to be grown in the European
Union - in March.
Its authorization is currently under
review by the EU as part of a wider look at the use of GM crops,
but member states have the right to ban them regardless of
rulings from Brussels.
France is pushing to cut Brussels
out of the process entirely, with future GM authorizations taken
only at the national level.
Within parliament, the political push
for the ban came from the Socialist, Green, and Communist parties,
who invoked concerns over the environmental impacts of genetically
However, the real pressure emerged from
widespread protests against GMOs in France,
Europe's largest grain producer,
where a majority of people have long opposed the introduction of GMO