Environmental groups and anti-globalization activists had long pushed for an order suspending use of genetically modified corn - but some farmers' group and agricultural companies opposed the push.
On Friday, the French Senate approved a law curbing the involvement of non-governmental organizations in a state agency that manages the genetically modified crop issue, a blow to environmental groups.
The law also makes it a misdemeanor, punishable by up to two years in prison and up to $109,000 in fines, to destroy farms that grow genetically modified crops.
The European Food Safety Authority says genetically modified products do not constitute a risk to human health or the environment, but some EU governments - including Austria, France, Greece and Hungary - are wary of biotechnology.
Under European Union rules, the Brussels-based European Commission has final say on whether member nations can ban genetically modified products that the bloc has authorized.