Court Says EU-Vetted GMOs Not Subject to Country Approval

Growing genetically-modified crops such as varieties of Monsanto Co.’s MON 810 corn can’t be subject to national authorization procedures by European Union countries when the bloc has approved their use and marketing, the European Court of Justice wrote in a ruling today.

The lack of national rules to ensure so-called co-existence between modified, organic and conventional crops doesn’t entitle an EU member state to prohibit cultivation of biotech crops in a general manner, the court wrote.

The court ruled in a dispute between Pioneer Hi Bred Italia Srl and Italy’s agriculture ministry. The ministry had said it couldn’t consider a Pioneer application to grow genetically modified corn hybrids derived from MON 810 already included in the EU common catalogue of agricultural plant species, according to the ruling.

Italy is the EU’s second-largest corn grower. France, the bloc’s largest producer of the grain, in March temporarily banned growing of Monsanto’s insect-resistant MON 810 corn, citing scientific studies it said showed growing the corn variety poses risks to the environment.

(Updates to add French ban in fourth paragraph.)
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