France mulls new safeguard clause for GM maize ban
France could go for a new safeguard clause for its ban on Monsanto’s genetically modified insect-resistant MON810 maize in case its ban is found to be void on procedural issues, reports French newswire Agrisalon.com, quoting Minister for Ecology Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet. The European Court of Justice has ruled that, in this particular case, such action cannot be taken under the “safeguard clause” of the EU GMO registration Directive (2001/18 – see this issue). The Minister has stressed that it is up to the French council of state, the Conseil d’État, to cancel the clause, which remains valid at this stage, and that the “prohibition of cultivation of varieties of GM maize MON810 continues on French territory". France banned MON810 in early 2008 ( Agrow No 535, p 11) and has refused to lift it, despite the European Food Safety Agency ( Agrow No 556, p 12) and the French food safety agency, the AFSSA ( Agrow No 563, p 12), citing a lack of any scientific evidence against the safety of the GM line.