It’s no secret that European countries are less welcoming of genetically-modified crops than the US is; several European countries, including Germany, France and Italy, have even placed bans on GMO foods. Now, in a sign of just how difficult it has become for GMOs to gain a foothold on the continent, Monsanto recently revealed that it has withdrawn nearly all of its pending applications with the European Commission, basically giving up on selling GMOs in Europe.
Although Monsanto’s biotech products are used far and wide in the United States and much of the rest of the world, widespread mistrust of genetically modified organisms has prevented the company from selling many of its products in Europe. Monsanto spokesman Brandon Mitchener told the LA Times that the requests “have been going nowhere fast for several years,” explaining that “there’s no end in sight … due to political obstructionism.”
As Michael Byrne at Motherboard points out, keeping Monsanto’s GMO crops out of Europe is good for agriculture, because the company has too much influence on agricultural markets around the world. The company will still continue to do business in Europe, but mostly in non-GMO crops. “The fact is Monsanto is doing quite well in Europe,” Mitchener said. “Our current-long range plan does not have and need biotech in Europe.” There is just one type of GMO corn that Monsanto has gained approval to sell in Europe, MON810, and the company says that it plans to seek renewed approval to grow that crop commercially.
via The LA Times and Grist