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The large number of European countries opposing GMO cultivation may have given the impression the bloc is putting a brake on GMOs but with new crops queuing for approval and key countries leaving the door open, output is more likely to grow than wane.
Nineteen out of 28 EU member states have requested opt-outs from cultivation of Monsanto’s MON810, the sole GMO crop already approved for cultivation, or for pending applications.
It is unclear when new GM seeds will be available in countries that did not block them, but farmers and feed producers have little doubt output will grow.
“Romanian grain farmers will gladly embrace the genetically modified maize crops,” said Laurentiu Baciu, president of the LAPAR league of Romanian farmers.
“It’s common sense that any maize farmer, be it in Spain or in Portugal or in Romania, would like to reduce production costs and eventually reap a bigger harvest,” he said, estimating that GM maize strains under approval would boost yields by at least 15-20 percent.
In Romania, the second-largest maize producer after France, the area sown with GMOs has decreased in recent years but Baciu expects output to pick up.
Despite public hostility to genetically modified foods, Europe is one of the world’s major buyers of biotech grain. There are nearly 60 GM crops approved for use in the EU, mainly for animal feed.
“These new strains will certainly find an outlet in sectors that don’t ban GMOs, especially in animal feed,” Stephane Radet, director of French animal feed maker group SNIA, noting that when grown legally GMOs could travel freely within Europe.
Read full, original post: Think Europe’s halting GMOs? It could be heading for more