Page last updated at 14:40 GMT, Tuesday, 9 December 2008

France fined over GM crop delay

Anti-GM protesters in France. File photo
French environmentalists have led protests against GM crops

The EU's top court has ordered France to pay a 10m-euro (8.7m; $12.9m) fine for delaying implementing EU rules on genetically modified (GM) crops.

The European Court of Justice said France's conduct was "unlawful".

France has refused to apply a 2002 law which set out how biotech crops could be planted in areas where other conventional crops were being grown.

Paris has said internal opposition by environmentalists is too strong for it to press ahead with the new measures.

On Tuesday, the Luxembourg-based court said its ruling would act as a warning to others that ignoring EU rules had a price.

In 2004, the European Commission won a court order against France, but Paris only began implementing the rules in July this year.

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