Biotech Updates

Germany Sued Over GM Maize Ban

April 24, 2009

Monsanto Company is suing the German government for banning its genetically modified insect resistant maize. Germany's Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner last week announced that German farmers will not be able to grow MON810 maize varieties this planting season. According to Reuters, Germany was set to have 3,600 hectares of the pest-resistant maize this year. MON810 is the only genetically modified crop approved for cultivation in the European Union. The lawsuit was filed in the administrative court in Branschweig in northern Germany.

Aigner said that she issued the ban because there is a "justifiable reason to believe that the GM crop presented danger to the environment". This is contradictory to the positive scientific opinion issued by of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), EU's top food watchdog. According to EFSA, the GM maize is as safe as its non-transgenic counterparts with respect to its effects on human and animal health and the environment.

Monsanto says that the move is an "arbitrary ban" and in violation of EU rules. The company further says that the ban is not supported by any scientific evidence. Germany now joins Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, Austria and France, countries that have enforced a similar ban on the pest-resistant maize.

Monsanto's press release is available at For more information on the Germany maize ban, read