German groups lose GMO soybean battle to Monsanto at top European court


The European Court of Justice dismissed an action brought by three German NGOs against the authorization of genetically modified soy products. The NGOs argued more research was necessary to determine the product’s risks.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled on Thursday that the authorization of genetically modified soy produced by former agrochemical corporation Monsanto was legal. An appeal is not possible.

The ruling follows appeals made by three German non-governmental organizations to a decision made by the EU Commission in 2012. The Commission said the genetically modified soybean has the same effect on human and animal health as non-genetically modified soy products.

This allowed Monsanto to continue selling products containing genetically modified soybeans. The beans were modified to make them more resistant to insects and pests and also more resistant to the herbicide glyphosate.

‘Toxicological risks’

The NGOs challenged the Commission’s decision saying that not enough research had been carried out into potentially unknown side-effects of the GMO soybeans.

The NGOs, TestBioTech, European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility and Sambucus, all criticized the decision, saying that the toxicological risks of genetically modified soy have not yet been adequately explored.

Monsanto was bought by German company Bayer in 2018. The soybeans were developed in South America and have been planted on over 73 million hectares (over 180 million acres) of land in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Urugua.

Source: DW Freedom