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Friday, July 19, 2013

Monsanto Drops Bid to Advance New GM Crops in Europe

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Freda Art
Activist Post

Monsanto announced today that they are quitting their effort to get more genetically modified crops approved in Europe. 

"We will no longer be pursuing approvals for cultivation of new biotech crops in Europe," the biotech company said in a statement.

"Instead, we will focus on enabling imports of biotech crops into the EU and the growth of our current business there," Monsanto added.

Only two genetically modified crops are allowed to be grown in the European Union (Monsanto's MON 810 maize and BASF's Amflora potato). 

The EU currently has a 'zero tolerance' policy for importing GMOs.  Presumably, Monsanto will focus their attention on modifying this policy, and they already have an strong ally in the European Commission -- President Jose Barroso.

As Dr. Sylvia Onusic from Farm To Consumer points out:
The current President of the European Commission, controversial Jose Barroso who is a strong supporter of GMOs and was responsible for the recent illegal approvals of the GMO potato and Intacta soybeans, has been working to undermine current law and regulations on GMOs. He is actively lobbying to lift the EU ‘zero tolerance’ policy on GMO imports which states that imported food or feed material cannot contain trace amounts of GMO substances. Introducing these unlabeled products into the European food chain from the U.S. and Canada would make it impossible for Europeans to make informed buying decisions, thus diluting the current EU labeling laws on GMO.
Monsanto's announcement comes just two days after BASF made a similar retreat from the European GM market.  BASF largely pulled their operations out of Europe over a year ago citing "resistance to technology" in the EU. 

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