Court denies Monsanto injunction on German ban

Friday, May 29, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 11:40 a.m. CDT, Friday, May 29, 2009

BERLIN — A German court rejected a bid by Monsanto Co. on Thursday to have a government ban of its genetically engineered corn, MON810, suspended.

German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner banned the sale and planting of the corn last month, citing studies that show it poses a danger to the environment, she said.

St. Louis-based Monsanto sought to have the ban suspended pending the outcome of a lawsuit seeking its permanent reversal. That lawsuit is still pending.

A court in Braunschweig rejected its petition for a suspension on May 4, and that decision was upheld Thursday by a higher state administrative court in the northern town of Lueneburg.

The court found that there was no evidence German authorities had overstepped their powers.

The genetically engineered seeds produce a toxin to ward off insects. Monsanto said that genetic trait reduces the need for chemical pesticides, but opponents fear the seeds will spread and alter the natural surroundings.

Although the European Union has authorized the corn, Aigner said when she announced her decision that EU members Austria, Hungary, France, Greece and Luxembourg have imposed similar bans.


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