Monsanto has launched legal proceedings against the German government in an attempt to block its ban of a variety of GM corn.

Last week, German agriculture minister Ilse Aigner introduced a ban on the sale and planting of genetically modified corn seeds, MON810, stating that they present a threat to the environment.

The MON810 corn produces a toxin to protect against insects.

Use of the GM corn variety was approved by the EU in 2004.

“At this point, we have started summary proceedings in a Braunschweig administrative court to challenge… [the] ban,” a spokesperson for Monsanto told just-food today (22 April).

Under EU law, a member state can introduce its own temporary ban if new scientific evidence comes to light to suggest the GM product presents a threat.

However, the Monsanto spokesperson said: “The is no new scientific evidence and [EU] regulators have already considered the study referenced by German authorities.”

The company said it was optimistic that the courts would uphold its argument and force Germany to back down over the ban.

“We hope the courts say they have broken EU law and force the German authorities to rescind the ban.”