Biotech giant Monsanto is abandoning attempts to get more genetically modified (GM) crops into the European market. The company’s move follows the high-profile retreat from Europe by another GM biotech firm, BASF, in 2012.
“We will no longer be pursuing approvals for cultivation of new biotech crops in Europe,” the company, which is based in St Louis, Missouri, said in an e-mail statement. “Instead, we will focus on enabling imports of biotech crops into the EU and the growth of our current business there.”
The company says that it is withdrawing all its pending applications in Europe for GM crops, which includes six types of corn, a soybean and a sugarbeet.
Europe has long been seen as more hostile to GM crops than much of the rest of the world. Although it imports a large amount of them as animal feed, only two crops are approved for growing in Europe: the GM corn MON810 and a GM potato created by BASF. The company confirmed that it would be pushing ahead with a renewal of approval for MON810.