French ban on GM crop challenged on a technicality

Press release - September 8, 2011
Luxembourg / Brussels, 8 September 2011 –The Court of Justice of the European Union today challenged a French national ban on the cultivation of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) maize Mon810.

French activists at a field of Monsanto's MON810 corn in 2007.

The court argues France based its ban on the wrong legislation.


Greenpeace EU policy adviser Stefanie Hundsdorfer said: “Monsanto based this case on a technicality, which doesn’t change the fact that France and the six other countries banning Mon810 have the legal right to do so, given the scientific concerns about the crop’s safety. We urge France to improve the legal details of its ban as soon as possible.”

In February 2008, the French government banned the cultivation of Mon810 based on EU Directive 2001/18/EC. Days later, Monsanto, Pioneer, the French association of maize producers and some seed producers started legal proceedings against the measure before the Conseil d’Etat, the highest French administrative court. The Conseil d’Etat referred the case to the EU court.

After today’s decision, the French court must still formalise its ruling.

Other European countries with a ban on the cultivation of Mon810 are Germany, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Luxembourg and Bulgaria.


Greenpeace EU agriculture policy adviser Stefanie Hundsdorfer on 0032 (0)496 161582.
Greenpeace EU press officer Jack Hunter on 0032 (0)4769 88584.