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Monsanto said it would abide by Latvia’s and Greece’s requests under a new EU opt-out law to be excluded from its application to grow a genetically modified (GM) crop across the European Union, but accused them of ignoring science.
Under a law signed in March individual countries can seek exclusion from any approval request for GM cultivation across the EU. While the European Commission is responsible for approvals, requests to be excluded also have to be submitted to the company making the application.
France and Germany have said they are opposed to GM cultivation, and while Britain is in favour, the Scottish government is against.
The EU law has riled the GM industry and the United States, which wants Europe to open its doors fully to U.S. GM crops as part of a planned EU-U.S. free trade deal.
In a statement August 30, the European Commission confirmed that so far only Latvia and Greece had asked for opt-outs from Monsanto’s request to continue to grow MON810.
Monsanto says Latvia’s request “contradicts and undermines the scientific consensus on the safety of MON810”.
GM in Europe is a small fraction of Monsanto’s activity the company said in an emailed statement.
“Nevertheless, we regret that some countries are deviating from a science-based approach to innovation in agriculture and have elected to prohibit the cultivation of a successful GM product on arbitrary political grounds,” the statement said.
Monsanto said it had no immediate plans to request approvals for any new GM seeds in Europe.
Read full, original post: Latvia, Greece win opt-out from Monsanto GM crop