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Another nail in coffin of GM crops in Europe

BASF, the German chemical giant, is to pull out of genetically modified plant development in Europe and relocate it to the US, where political and consumer resistance to GM crops is not so entrenched.

From the Financial Times:

BASF, the German chemical giant, is to pull out of genetically modified plant development in Europe and relocate it to the US, where political and consumer resistance to GM crops is not so entrenched.

The headquarters of BASF Plant Science will move from Limburgerhof in south-west Germany to Raleigh, North Carolina, and two smaller sites in Germany and Sweden will close. The company will transfer some GM crop development to the US but stop work on crops targeted at the European market – four varieties of potato and one of wheat.

The decision, which involves the net loss of 140 highly skilled jobs in Europe, also signals the end of GM crop development for European farmers. Bayer, BASF’s German competitor, is working on GM cotton and rice in Ghent, Belgium – but not for European markets.

“There is still a lack of acceptance for this technology in many parts of Europe – [by] the majority of consumers, farmers and politicians,” said Stefan Marcinowski, board member in change of plant biotechnology. “Therefore, it does not make business sense to continue investing in products exclusively for cultivation in this market.”

For more, see: An end to GM crop development for Europe

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