Monsanto’s GM crops will still be imported into the EU for animal feed and biofuels
1.Monsanto EU GM crop withdrawal welcomed with caution
2.Monsanto to cease marketing of new GM crops in EU
EXTRACT: GM Freeze points out that Monsanto’s GM crops will still be imported into the EU, primarily for use in animal feed and biofuels, so the damage to ecosystems and human health caused by GM will continue elsewhere. The lack of labels on meat, eggs, dairy products, and fish produced using GM feed means that Europe’s reliance on GM is hidden from consumers so they cannot easily avoid buying GM-fed products. Food companies should meet the clear demand for entirely non-GM foods by labelling those produced without GM, as is done successfully by many companies in Germany, Austria and France. The first labelled non-GM product in the UK was recently announced by Alpro. (item 1)
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1.Monsanto EU GM Crop Withdrawal Welcomed with Caution
GM Freeze, July 18 2013
GM Freeze today welcomed Monsanto’s announcement that it is withdrawing pending applications to cultivate GM crops in the European Union but said this is not the end of Europe’s GM story.
Monsanto says it will withdraw EU cultivation applications for GM maize (x5), sugar beet (x1) and soyabeans (x1) “in the coming months”. Of these only GM Roundup Ready sugar beet (with tolerance to the company’s best-selling glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup) would be suitable for the UK, but that crop was rejected by the UK Government after the 1999-2003 Field Scale Evaluations because its cultivation harmed farmland wildlife.
The fate of Monsanto’s applications to commercialise cultivation of GM cotton in the EU is unclear. Several other biotech companies have applications in the pipeline to cultivate GM crops in the EU, including Bayer, Syngenta, and Dow.
Earlier in 2013 BASF announced its intention to withdraw an application to cultivate GM potatoes in the EU. BASF also discontinued EU marketing of its GM Amflora potato, which produced starch for industry, after a highly controversial authorisation by the Commission and a botched attempt at roll-out using seed contaminated with another, unauthorised GM potato.
However, GM Freeze points out that Monsanto’s GM crops will still be imported into the EU, primarily for use in animal feed and biofuels, so the damage to ecosystems and human health caused by GM will continue elsewhere. The lack of labels on meat, eggs, dairy products, and fish produced using GM feed means that Europe’s reliance on GM is hidden from consumers so they cannot easily avoid buying GM-fed products. Food companies should meet the clear demand for entirely non-GM foods by labelling those produced without GM, as is done successfully by many companies in Germany, Austria and France. The first labelled non-GM product in the UK was recently announced by Alpro.
Commenting Pete Riley of GM Freeze said:
“We very much welcome Monsanto’s decision, but it is not the end of the story. It has taken a long time for the penny to drop that trying to force failing GM technology onto an unwilling market it is simply not good business, and we hope other companies will follow suit – but EU GM imports are still a problem.
“There is now a real opportunity for Europe to push ahead with farming that is sustainable, based on reducing dependencies on agrochemicals and adopting time-tested practices like crop rotation and biological control of pests. Policies, financial incentives, and research and development all need to shift in this direction.
“Supermarkets, animal feed manufacturers, and farmers need to meet consumer demand by working together to drop our heavy dependence on imported GM soya to feed livestock and poultry.“
Pete Riley 07903 341 065
 Reuters, 17 July 29013. “Monsanto to withdraw EU approval requests for new GMO crops”
 Statement by Secretary of State Margaret Beckett, 9 March 2004. Hansard Columns 1379-1382
 The industry website GMO Compass lists cultivation applications for GM cotton (search on “cotton” at http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/gmo/db/), but GM Freeze could not find these searching the these official EC site on 17 July.
 GM Freeze, 30 January 2013. “BASF drops key projects”
 just-food.com, 25 June 2013. “UK: WhiteWave's Alpro introduces non-GM labelling mark”
2.Monsanto to cease marketing of new GM crops in EU
Greenpeace, July 18 2013
*Last remaining GM crop grown in Europe remains a threat
Brussels – US biotech and chemical company Monsanto has confirmed that it will withdraw all current applications for genetically modified (GM) crops in the EU, citing their commercial unviability and public resistance. While welcoming the announcement, Greenpeace notes that the company will seek to continue sales of its controversial MON810 maize, the last remaining GM crop grown in Europe.
The EU-wide authorisation for the cultivation of MON810 is expiring at the end of a ten-year period and the safety of the crop is due to be reassessed. The company is permitted to continue to use MON810 in Europe until the European Commission announces its decision.
Monsanto signalled in May that it was reassessing its operations within Europe, after it said it faced stronger regulations and a lack of political support for its GM crops. Currently, only Spain grows non-negligible quantities of MON810, alongside more limited cultivation in the Czech Republic and Portugal.
Greenpeace sustainable farming policy adviser Herman Van Bekkem said: “This is a good day for science and research in Europe. Over the last couple of decades, GM crops have proven themselves to be an ineffective and unpopular technology. Every week there is new evidence of the dangerous impacts of GM crops on our environment. Continued rejection by farmers, consumers and governments will ultimately lead Monsanto to also withdraw its MON810 GM maize, the last remaining GM crop grown in Europe. A complete pull-out by Monsanto could finally create the space for European farming to focus on modern as well as traditional practices and technologies that offer real advances for food production and rural communities while not negatively impacting the natural environment.”
In January last year, German chemical company BASF signalled its withdrawal from the EU market after failing to find sufficient consumer interest for its products.
 Greenpeace, 29 May 2013, Monsanto signals partial withdrawal from EU: http://www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/en/News/2013/Monsanto-signals-partial-withdrawal-from-EU/
 Greenpeace, January 16 2012, BASF retreats from Europe as GM crops rejected: http://www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/en/News/2012/BASF-retreats-from-Europe-as-GM-crops-rejected