Biotech Updates

France's Ban on GM Crops Illegal, says Higher Courts

December 2, 2011

The 2008 French ban on the cultivation of genetically modified crops (GM) was declared recently by France's highest court, the Conseil d'Etat to be illegal. In a EuropaBio press release, Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, EuropaBio's Director of Green Biotechnology Europe, commented, "These judgments from the highest European court and the highest French court send one message loud and clear: bans of GM crops cannot be based on political dogma. As both judgments state, no ban on planting GM crops can be declared without valid scientific evidence, something that France and other European countries have not produced."

Sarvaas added that farmers in France have missed for four years the benefits that can be derived from biotechnology including increased income, reduction in pest pressure and reduction in insecticide use. In an EU JRC Research Centre report, in this four year duration, farmers have "potentially missed out on over €40 million of income and did not produce over 370,000 tons of maize that could have helped meet the needs of a hungry world."

The original news release can be viewed at