German chemicals firm Bayer said [Oct. 10] it would not introduce genetically modified crops in Europe after its gigantic takeover of US seed and pesticide producer Monsanto.
“We aren’t taking over Monsanto to establish GM plants in Europe,” chief executive Werner Baumann told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
“Some people think it might be easier for us than for Monsanto, given the reputation we enjoy,” Baumann said, “but that’s not our plan”.
“If politics and society in Europe don’t want genetically modified seeds, then we accept that, even if we disagree on the substance,” he went on.
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Environmental groups, green politicians and some farmers vowed to block the “marriage made in hell” between the two companies after the deal was inked in September.
Baumann pointed to the Americas, where “when this was all new 20 years ago and we had no experience, there were justifiable reasons to be sceptical.
“Today things are different. There are no signs that this technology brings environmental risks or isn’t safe,” he went on.
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