In November, the highest court in France overturned a three-year ban on growing and selling Monsanto’s genetically modified pest-resistant “YieldGard” MON810 maize. But that doesn’t mean the opinion is unanimous or that the animosity between company and country is over – the French government still hopes to extend its ban on the product, and Monsanto itself is preemptively bowing out of attempting to sell the maize in France.
"Monsanto considers that favorable conditions for the sale of the MON810 in France in 2012 and beyond are not in place," a spokesperson from the company told Reuters in a statement, also noting that it would continue to sell only non-GMO maize seeds in France until those political conditions improve.
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Not that it seems likely that France’s affection toward Monsanto’s genetically modified corn will improve any time in the very near future. In November when the ban was overturned, agriculture minister Bruno Le Maire stated that the French government would “examine all ways to keep the ban on genetically modified maize despite the… decision.” That opinion hasn’t changed: Reuters reports that the country’s Farm Ministry intends to find a way to reenact the moratorium on Monsanto maize before the year’s sowing season begins.
Many French citizens are also on board with the Farm Ministry’s opinion as well: the report indicates that anti-GMO activists took action outside of a Monsanto plant on Tuesday, even though the company claims that the seeds contained inside the plant are meant for export and not for selling to French farmers. Whatever the reality of that statement is, they certainly aren’t for French farmers now.