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Bravo the French – UK should support French call to ban GM maize

Immediate release (27 Feb 2012)

GM Freeze has today written to Defra urging the UK to support the new French demand for Monsanto’s MON810 GM maize to be banned in the EU. [1] The Ministry of Ecology made a formal request last week asking the Commission to suspend the authorisation to grow the crop across the EU citing damage to the environment demonstrated by new scientific research, including from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The French move is the latest in their long struggle to prohibit the cultivation of the crop, which included an European Court of Justice ruling that a previous ban was not properly enacted, which itself led to French courts overturning that ban. [2]

Monsanto has since withdrawn MON810 seed from sale in France, but French authorities are keen to ensure no planting occurs from seed acquired from other sources. [3]

Commenting Pete Riley, Campaign Director of GM Freeze, said:

The French have it absolutely right – the EU should ban cultivation of Monsanto’s MON810 GM maize, both to protect the environment and because consumers don’t want it. Monsanto aren’t even trying to sell it in France anymore, so it is extraordinary the Government has to go to these lengths to prevent damage to the environment.

GM Freeze strongly urges the UK Government to follow the growing scientific evidence that GM cultivation is too risky and support the French call for a ban.


[1] Copy of letter to Defra available from GM Freeze.

Reuters, 20 February 2012. “France asks EU to suspend Monsanto GM corn approval


Farming Online, 21 February 2012. “France lobbies EU to ban GM maize

[2] GM Freeze press release, 17 January 2012. “France Determined to Continue GM Maize Ban

[3] GM Freeze press release, 25 January 2012. “Monsanto Bow to French Ban on GM Maize Seed in 2012