EU court rejects GM-crop secrecy

The European Court of Justice -- the European Union’s top court -- has ruled that governments have no right to conceal the location of trials of genetically modified (GM) crops, the BBC reported. The court in Luxembourg decided that information relating to the field-trial locations “can in no case be kept confidential”.


The ruling came on Tuesday in a case brought by a Frenchman, Pierre Azelvandre, who had sought to learn if any GM field trials had been held in his local area of Alsace, in eastern France.


The only GM crop approved by the European Union is a strain of corn (maize) developed by the American company Monsanto. However, GM research trials are legal, under strict controls.


A day before the court’s ruling, the European Commission – the EU’s executive body – failed in its efforts to force the French and Greek governments to allow Monsanto’s GM corn to be grown in their countries. The biotech industry says the crops are safe and would provide cheaper, more plentiful food. GM opponents say the long-term genetic impact on humans and wildlife is unknown and that more scientific data is needed.


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