The French government raised eyebrows and dashed some hopes when they overturned a ban on genetically modified corn. But soon after, President Francois Hollande came to the rescue, stating the moratorium would be extended despite actions by what is, in essence, the supreme court of his government, reaffirming the French commitment to keeping GM crops out.
The Council of State acts as legal adviser to the President and as the supreme court of administrative justice, according to GM Watch. It was this council that overturned the ban on GM maize MON810 recently. In their ruling, the court said of the moratorium:
“Such a measure could only be imposed in an emergency or if there was a serious health or environmental risk.”
President Hollande, however, sees such risks present and has committed to keep the ban in place. He says the ban was enacted, “not because we refuse progress, but in the name of progress.” He went on to add that GMO corn could have detrimental effects on agriculture as we know it, “We cannot accept a maize product that may have adverse effects on other [agricultural] production.”
Now, his goal is to secure his decision to maintain the ban at the national level and at the European level. In other words, he wants the whole of Europe to follow suit.
For years now, France and other nations in the EU have taken a stand against Monsanto and GMO crops alike. While the United States and Canada have virtually no GE food labeling laws, countries like Russia, Australia, Italy, and more have mandatory labeling of nearly all GE foods. Here is a global map of all the countries and their current status with GE labeling laws.
With genetically modified seeds (like flax) already contaminating the world food supply—even in instances where the seeds were not approved for cultivation and consumption (as in GM rice)—it will take a massive effort on a global scale to stop the spread of these dangerous seeds. France is among several nations that is working hard to sustain the integrity of non-GMO agriculture.