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Biotech lobby pleased with French GM ban overturn

European biotechnology lobby EuropaBio has welcomed France’s highest court’s decision that a French ban on genetically modified crops is illegal.

The French Conseil d’Etat ruled against the 2008 national ban on the cultivation of GM corn on 28 November because the government had not provided conclusive proof that the crop posed a major risk to health or the environment.

Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, EuropaBio’s director of green biotechnology, said: “These judgments from the highest European court and the highest French court send one message loud and clear: bans of GM crops cannot be based on political dogma.”

“France’s leaders must now decide whether they want to regain their position as a leader of agricultural innovation, tackle future global challenges and create jobs and investment in agriculture, or support an anti-science agenda that weakens Europe’s competitiveness,” he added.

France’s agriculture minister Bruno Le Maire said the government would still look “at all ways of not cultivating Monsanto corn,” because “there are still too many uncertainties on the consequences for the environment,” the ScienceInsider news website reports.