France has never been a big fan of Monsanto, Dow, or any biotech’s GMO creations; this is evidenced by the nation’s continued rejection and voiced concerns of GMOs. Well this week, the French Parliament passed a law prohibiting genetically modified maize from being grown anywhere in the country due to concerns about its effects on the environment. The law concerns any strain of GM corn that is adopted by the European Union.
The Parliament passed the law following a decree from last month, which halted Monsanto’s ‘insect-resistant’ MON810 maize, which is to be allowed to be cultivated in the EU. Egypt, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya have also been bullied into growing MON 810, even though it was shown to be a failed crop. MON 810 was withdrawn from the South African market because it developed an incredible insect intolerance that caused many farms that grew it to be defunct. Italy has also moved against MON 810 corn, with 80% public support.
The French law would include a ban on any strain of GM maize, including Pioneer’s 1507, developed by DuPont and Dow Chemical. Pioneer 1507 is likely to be approved by the EU later this year, after 19 of the 28 EU member states failed to gain enough votes to block the passing of a bill allowing its cultivation. But even if the EU allows Pioneer to slip its GM atrocity through the system, the French ban would not allow it into the country.
The National Assembly, (the French lower house) law was adopted even though a similar one was rejected by the Senate (upper house) in February. This is seen as unconstitutional by some in France. Jean Marie Le Guen, the minister in charge of relations with parliament, commented to the National Assembly.
“It is essential today to renew a widely shared desire to maintain the French ban. This bill strengthens the decree passed last March by preventing the immediate cultivation of GMO and extending their reach to all transgenic maize varieties”
The current government in France opposes GM crops due largely to environmentalist and public protests pointing out their ability to damage human health and ecosystem viability. La Guen would like to see a system adopted that does not allow the EU to determine what kind of crops member countries can grow, so that when bans on GMO are passed, they cannot be legally challenged.
The new ban on GM maize goes to the Senate for approval, but even if it is rejected, the national Assembly has the final say.