corn field

France’s parliament has approved a law that prohibits the cultivation of any genetically modified corn in the country.

With already strict restrictions on the sale and distribution of genetically modified foods, France has made the ban official, even despite the ruling by the European Union that allows the cultivation of MON810, Monsanto’s genetically modified corn. It is the only genetically modified crop allowed to be cultivated in the EU.

According to Reuters, France’s agriculture minister Stephane Le Foll, told the Senate at the start of the debate: “This law aims to give a legal framework to our country, to ensure that a ban is applied.”

The law would also apply to cover any other genetically modified corn strain that received EU approval, explains Reuters. Pioneer 1507, a genetically modified corn variety developed jointly by DuPont and Dow Chemical “might be approved by the EU executive later this year, after 19 of the 28 member states failed to gather enough votes to block it.”

With a strong anti-GMO movement in France, activists reportedly attacked a field in the southwestern region of the country after a farmer reported that he had been sewing the land with MON810 “a few days before the decree banning it,” reports Reuters. “Only one other farmer, using seeds bought in Spain, declared sewing GM maize this season, the ministry said.” The crops will be tested by the government and if they are in fact MON810, they will be destroyed.

Monsanto and other biotech companies have reportedly “abandoned” efforts in the EU to promote genetically modified crops because of stringent resistance to GMOs.

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