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.

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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.

Other bans

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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Scene from from the 1976 film Network about Globalization. The chairman of a corporation speaking to a news anchorman (who spoke off his scripted news to ruin a business deal) : “You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it, is that clear? You think you have merely stopped a business deal—that is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity. It is ecological balance. You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations! There are no peoples! There are no Russians! There are no Arabs! There are no third worlds! There is no West! There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multi-national dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, Reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels!… You get up on your little twenty-one-inch screen, and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T, and Dupont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.


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