German court rejects Monsanto bid to lift ban on 'MON 810'

05 May 2009 15:19  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--A court in Germany has rejected Monsanto’s urgent application (Eilantrag) for interim relief against the country's ban on the planting of the company’s MON 810 genetically modified maize (corn), it said on Tuesday.

Germany’s federal agricultural minister Ilse Aigner last month imposed the ban, saying there was “good reason for the assumption” that MON 810 posed a danger for the environment.

In a statement, the administrative court in Braunschweig said the ban was not arbitrary and authorities had assessed risks before imposing it.

The law did not require authorities to produce firm scientific evidence that proved, without any doubt, a danger for the environment.

It was sufficient to show that there was new or additional information that indicated a danger for people or animals, the court said.

Monsanto could appeal the decision, the court noted.

Industry groups said Germany's ban on MON 810 was not based on sound scientific findings and threatened to create legal uncertainty.

In related news on Tuesday, Germany’s food safety and consumer protection agency BVL said it had approved an application by Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen for limited plantings of genetically modified barley at a site in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state.

Last week, the agency approved limited planting for BASF’s genetically modified Amflora potato.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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