Monsanto Officially Starts Retreat from Europe

Posted on Aug 27 2013 - 2:37pm by Sustainable Pulse

Biotech giant Monsanto has officially withdrawn four requests for GMO cultivation in the EU, following its announcement last month that it would no longer try to grow biotech crops in the bloc.

The US-based company, whose GM maize MON810 is the only biotech crop grown for food in the EU, now says it will focus on only conventional seed production and on importing more of its GMOs for food and feed uses.

Last month Monsanto told Reuters that it will withdraw all pending approval requests to grow new types of genetically modified crops in the European Union, due to the lack of commercial prospects for cultivation there.

“We will be withdrawing the approvals in the coming months,” Monsanto’s President and Managing Director for Europe, Jose Manuel Madero, told Reuters by telephone.

Madero said the decision would allow the company to focus on growing its conventional seeds business in Europe, as well as securing EU approvals to import its genetically modified crop varieties widely grown in the United States and South America.

The decision covered five EU approval requests to grow genetically modified maize, plus one soybean and one sugar beet. The company said it would not withdraw its application to renew the approval for its insect-resistant MON810 maize – the only GMO crop currently cultivated commercially in Europe.

A spokesman for the European Commission, which manages the EU’s GMO approval system, confirmed that Monsanto had informed it of its intention to withdraw the applications.

The move reflects the frustration felt by many biotech companies towards the EU’s approval system for GMOs. Decisions routinely face years of delays, and only three varieties have ever been given the green light for cultivation.

While Monsanto’s MON810 maize has been approved for cultivation throughout the EU, several countries including France, Germany and most recently Italy have imposed national bans, driven by strong public opposition to the technology.

Last year, German biotech producer BASF halted the development of genetically modified crops in Europe and moved all of its European GMO research operations to the United States.


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5 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Irene Tracey August 27, 2013 at 21:37 - Reply

    great news from the EU very smart thing to do,noe if only Canada and the USA would follow their lead the world,s food supply would be much safer.Your going down one step at a time Monsanto.

    • tony August 28, 2013 at 04:40 - Reply

      stupid people

  2. Tony's Former Roommate August 27, 2013 at 23:13 - Reply

    Now if Monsanto would please leave Washington DC, Boulder County, the Bay Area, the Central Valley, Iowa, Missouri, Planet Earth to return to where it came from…

    Please see the last pages of the Inferno!

  3. tony August 28, 2013 at 04:43 - Reply

    is it really sensible to keep spraying sarin like nerve gas on your crops instead of using Gm crops that have used for 16 years and a billion acres without documented harm. Or use organic crops that have actually killed people ?Makes no sense

  4. chris August 28, 2013 at 21:09 - Reply

    tony, what do you do for a living??

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