Monsanto Fails to Sell GMO Seeds in Europe

Monsanto has announced that due to Europeans’ overall rejection of GMO seeds, they are canceling all of their pending license requests, and are essentially pulling the plug on their efforts to market GMOs in Europe.

According to Tageszeitung (Taz), a newspaper based in Berlin, Germany, Monsanto is no longer pursuing approval of any new GMO plants, and will not be doing field trials of GMO seeds in most of western Europe.

Ursula Luettmer-Ouazane, Monsanto’s spokesperson for Germany, told Taz, “we have come to understand that, at the moment, it (GMOs) doesn’t have broad acceptance. It’s counterproductive to fight against windmills.”

Seven European nations have already banned GMOs, and others have banned specific strains, such as Bt corn, and testing of GMOs within their borders. The process for a GMO seed to be approved in Europe is extensive, and can take years, if it is ever approved at all.

gmo freeAccording to Nature, an international science journal, “crops must first be deemed safe by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in Parma, Italy. The European Commission must then produce a draft decision within three months, to be voted on by representatives from EU member states before approval can be finalized.”

Since so much of Europe is against GMOs, Monsanto, as well as other biotech companies including Syngenta and Bayer CropSciences, are withdrawing their GMO wares from the European market. Europeans, in general, are very skeptical of GMOs due to their potential health risks, and potential risks to agricultural diversity.

These fears are not unique to Europe, however. All over the world, concerned citizens are uniting against GMOs, as demonstrated this past May in the worldwide ‘March Against Monsanto.’ According to organizers of this event, approximately 2 million people participated, in over 400 cities in 52 countries.

Ilse Aigner, Germany’s minister of agriculture, told the Taz newspaper that genetic technology has not been the salvation that it was promised to be for Europe’s agricultural industry. Indeed, the world is already seeing GMOs backfiring, in rise of superweeds and superbugs, for example. The United States would be wise to heed Europe’s example.

-The Alternative Daily


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