Monsanto abandons GM crops in Europe

US agribusiness giant Monsanto will no longer seek approval for genetically modified (GM) crops to be grown in Europe. The company is dropping all but one of its pending applications (MON810 insect-resistant maize). Instead, it will focus on conventional breeding to develop new crop varieties in the EU, and develop biotech crops in regions where they are more accepted, such as North America.

Monsanto will, however, work towards getting GM crop imports accepted in Europe.

GM crops have had little success in Europe. Some, such as BASF’s starch-rich non-food Amflora potato, have managed to negotiate the approvals process, but political and public opposition is entrenched. Last year, BASF also halted its GM crop development in Europe and moved its plant research headquarters to the US.

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