Greece Extends Ban On Monsanto Biotech Corn

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece extended its ban on a genetically modified strain of corn seed developed by U.S. biotech giant Monsanto Co. for another two years, the Agriculture Ministry said Wednesday.

The ban on importing and cultivating MON810 has also been expanded to include 100 types of the seed -- up from 70 last year, the ministry said in a statement.

The strain is genetically modified to produce a toxin that repels insects, thus reducing the need for farmers to use insecticides. The European Union authorized their use five years ago.

But Greece, which has banned MON801 since April 2005, argues the seeds could harm human health while the crops contain pollen that could threaten the country's beekeeping industry. Greek produces about 16 percent of Europe's honey.

France, Germany, Austria and Hungary have also banned MON810.