Monsanto has pretty much given up any hope (at least for now) of selling its genetically engineered seeds for corn, sugar beets, and other crops in Europe, where opposition to GMO food is overwhelming.
Monsanto Co. said Thursday it will largely drop its bid to grow some of its genetically modified crops in Europe.
The world’s largest seed-maker has nine pending applications with the European Commission, the executive body for the European Union. A spokesman said the company plans to withdraw eight of those applications.
The requests “have been going nowhere fast for several years,” said Brandon Mitchener, a spokesman for the St. Louis-based company’s European entity. “There’s no end in sight … due to political obstructionism.”
The European Union’s stubborn resistance to transgenic crops stands in stark contrast to the welcome mat rolled out by American lawmakers for agro-giants and their most controversial products. From the BBC:
The company said it would now concentrate on growing its conventional seeds business in Europe.
It will also look to get EU approval to import its genetically modified crop varieties from the US and South America into Europe.
In 2012, Germany’s BASF halted the development of genetically modified crops in Europe and moved its European research operations in this area to the US.
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