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France to restore GMO maize ban

France will reinstate a ban on the cultivation of Monsanto’s MON810 maize (corn) in the next few days, in time to prevent the genetically modified grain being sown this year, an official at the farm ministry said on Tuesday.

Paris banned MON810 maize in 2008, citing environmental risks. The decision was overturned by the country’s highest court in November on the basis that it was not sufficiently justified, leading the government to say it would look at all ways to maintain the freeze.

France, which will face a presidential election next month and where public opinion is fiercely opposed to genetically modified organisms (GMO), asked the European Commission last month to suspend the authorization to sow the maize, the only GMO crop allowed for cultivation in the European Union.

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