French Court Overturns Ban on GMO Crops

french overturn decision to ban monsanto gmo crops

Yesterday the European Court of Justice (ECJ) overturned France’s ban on GMO crops, which will now allow farmers to grow Monsanto’s insect-resistant MON810 maize, according to Reuters. The French court said the decision was made on the grounds that “the agriculture ministry could not justify its authority to issue the decrees, failing to give proof of the existence of a particularly high level of risk for the health and the environment.”

France has always protested the growth and production of GMO crops, so yesterday’s decision came as quite a shock to its people. In a follow up article put out today by Reuters, French president Nicolas Sarkozy was quoted saying: “The French government keeps and will keep its opposition against the cultivation of the Monsanto 810 maize on our soil.” Sarkozy assigned Ecology Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet and Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire the task of producing scientific evidence to implement a future ban on Monsanto’s MON810.

While the French fret about the possibility of GMOs getting into their food, it’s unlikely that any sowing will occur until 2013. At this point, no seeds have been developed to withstand European weather conditions, so this agricultural uncertainty is sure to deter farmers from purchasing seeds they know many of their costumers are against buying.

While many European countries do have bans against growing GMO crops, most, including France, allow almost all livestock to be fed genetically modified grains. And strangely enough this is done without contest from consumers. It seems that there is a disconnect between the fact that what an animal eats becomes part of its makeup — and unequivocally our makeup after consumption.

For now, it seems that there won’t be any GMO produce sold at French markets, but this ruling has raised many questions about Monsanto’s invasion on European soil.  If Europe wants to continue to keep Monsanto out they will have to fight the company’s ruthless influence with solid scientific proof that GMOs are harmful to human health.

Photo by: Adam Arthur/Flickr

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