France must pay €10m into EU coffers for failing to comply with the 2001 directive on deliberate release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) within the required timeframe, the European court of justice decided on Tuesday. The sanction is much lower than the €38m fine demanded by the European commission in the case (EED 12/12/06).
France completed its transposition of the directive into national law in May (EED 23/05/08), nearly four years after a court ruling urging it to implement the GM rules (EED 19/07/04). "Nothing in the circumstances of this case that can justify the considerable delay that occurred", judges said.
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