A legal challenge is being launched by Upper Austria against a European Commission ban on its becoming a declared genetically modified organism (GMO) free zone.

This move would prevent the production and cultivation of GM foodstuffs in Upper Austria, even though it is allowed under European Union (EU) law.

Keen to prevent such a flouting of EU regulations, the Commission in September blocked the declaration after consulting the European Food Safety Authority. However, Upper Austria is now appealing against the decision at the European Court of Justice.

Other regions have announced they too want to become GM-free zones: Aquitaine, the Basque Country, Limousin, Marche, Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Thrace-Rodopi, and Wales.