French attempt to ban GM maize rejected

A move by the French government to ban Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) maize MON 810 has been rejected by the European Food Safety Authority (ESFA).

Following a request from the European Commission, the ESFA evaluated the documentation submitted by France as part of its request to prohibit the cultivation of genetically modified maize MON 810 in the EU.

However, the ESFA said that neither the scientific publications cited in the documentation submitted by France with relevance to maize MON 810 nor the arguments put forward by France reveal any new information that would invalidate the previous risk assessment conclusions and risk management recommendations made by the EFSA GMO Panel.

The EFSA goes on to say that it considers the previous GMO Panel risk assessment conclusions and risk management recommendations on maize MON 810 remain valid and applicable. Therefore, EFSA concludes that, based on the documentation submitted by France, there is no specific scientific evidence, in terms of risk to human and animal health or the environment, that would support the adoption of an emergency measure on the cultivation of maize MON 810.

The marketing of MON 810 was approved by the European Union in 1998. However, several EU Member States invoked safeguard clause or emergency measures to provisionally restrict or prohibit the marketing of maize MON 810 on their territory.

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