The French are preparing to restore a GMO maize ban in their country just before farmers prepare for Spring planting. A Senator of the currently ruling socialist party is calling for a ban to counteract an anticipated swell of activist upset over genetically modified organisms.
Formerly, France banned Monsanto’s GMO maize called MON 810, which was then the sole maize crop allowed to be grown in the European Union. Thanks to activism by French citizens and serious political outcry, Monsanto was effectively blocked from Europe’s gigantic marketplace. This is even more true when you consider the fact that France is the largest grower of crops in all of Europe, making it an agricultural behemoth of sorts.
Now the new ban would target all GMO maize in the country, including any new strains that would be developed and introduced to the public in the future. This would block biotech companies like Dow Chemical and DuPont who were hoping to introduce their own versions of GMO corn later in the year.
The ban is of even more significance since Dow and DuPont Chemical companies have been given a seal of approval by the European Union to grow their GMO corn. The vote which took place that could have vetoed the proposition lost 19 to 28, with 4 member states abstaining from voting. This means only five states wanted GM corn, but the way the weighted voting system is set up in the EU, the Commission is now obliged to pass the GMO crop initiative.
In Germany, they are already planning to abstain from voting to approve the cultivation of 1507 maize. The draft legislation in France calls for all GMO maize to be inspected and destroyed if found. “We do not want to have the cultivation of [TC1507] in Germany,” Friedrich told Bayern2 radio.
France is currently the largest EU grain producer, so its decision will affect surrounding countries as well. Right on the heels of Russia considering a complete GMO ban, this would be a double-hit for biotech should both countries follow through with their draft propositions.