The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Monsanto's GM maize can be placed on the market without Commission authorisation. However, Italy can impose a temporary ban on suspicion of risks.

Genes are inserted into the maize in question to render it resistant to certain herbicides and pests. Although the genetically modified DNA is destroyed during the processing of the maize, Italian scientists found residues of GMO proteins which promted the Italian government to ban the products.

Monsanto had marketed the maize in Italy under the so-called "simplified procedure", i.e. without seeking the authorisation of the Commission, claiming that the maize was similar to the conventional variety which had already been approved as safe by regulatory authorities. British and French agencies had approved this new variety on behalf of the whole EU.