The move on Tuesday comes just three days after France published a
decree to prevent the planting of Monsanto's MON810 maize while the
government works on changes to domestic and European laws on a
longer-term GMO ban.
Paris banned the insect-resistant MON810 maize, the sole GMO
authorized for cultivation in the European Union, in 2008, citing
environmental risks. The decision was overturned in 2011 on the
basis that it was not sufficiently justified.
France banned the maize for a second time in 2012 but the embargo
was rejected a year later.
"Since the order is no more legally justified than previous ones, we
will ask for it to be simply annulled," Luc Esprit, director of
French maize growers group AGPM, told Reuters.
The current Socialist government, like its conservative predecessor,
has opposed the growing of GMO crops in light of public suspicion
and widespread protests from environmentalists.
"These legal battles are sterile and expensive," UFS, which
represents 130 seedmakers with activities in France, said in a
statement. "Meanwhile, French and European seedmakers continue to
The French farm ministry said it was not surprised by maize growers
and seedmakers' decision to appeal its decree.
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Dry weather in recent weeks mean French farmers will likely be able
to start maize sowings by the end of the month, before April 10 when
the government is due to submit a new proposal for a law banning all
GM maize crops after the Senate in a surprise move, rejected the
previous one in February.
In addition to a request that the decree be annulled, the AGPM will
seek a suspension of the ban, which could be taken rapidly. However,
if any, there would only be little GMO maize sown in France this
year, Esprit said.
(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; editing by David Evans)
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