FRANKFURT, April 21 (Reuters) – Monsanto Co (MON.N), the world’s biggest seed company, has filed suit against the German government’s decision to ban genetically modified (GMO) maize, the company said on Tuesday.
The German government banned the cultivation and sale of GMO maize despite European Union rulings that the biotech grain is safe. [ID:nLE218443]
The ban affects Monsanto’s MON 810 maize, which may no longer be sown for this summer’s harvest, the government said.
A Monsanto spokesman said Germany’s action to restrict Mon 810 was an “arbitrary ban” that violated EU rules.
He said EU member states can invoke a safeguard clause against an already approved plant but such a move required new scientific evidence and none existed to support the ban.
“They are in conflict with EU rules,” the spokesman said.
Food Production Daily
MON810 maize is genetically engineered to produce Bacillus thuringiensis, which is toxic to the corn borer pest. it is marketed as a way to save farmers money on insecticides and other pest controls.
Germany is not the only country to have banned MON810. France also invoked the clause on new scientific evidence that cast doubt over its safety last year.
However a review conducted by the European Food Safety Authority, requested by the European Commission, concluded that “in terms of risk to human and animal health and the environment, the provided information package does not present new scientific evidence that would invalidate the previous risk assessments of maize MON810”.
Other countries to implement bans are Hungary and Austria. Last month European ministers voted – for the fourth time – against forcing these countries to lift their bans, despite EFSA’s view.
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