The multinational assures that it has paralyzed the activities to promote its genetically modified seeds in the European continent, as well as they would not have planned to request permits for the sale of new transgenic seeds in the region. "We will not spend any more money to convince people to grow them," Brandon Mitchener, Monsanto's Head of Public Affairs for Europe and the Middle East, reports in an interview with Investigative Reporting Denmark.
The current rejection of agricultural products by consumers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), due to their harmful effects on biodiversity, the environment and health in the short term and their unknown effects in the long term, has led to the multinational company to get involved in gigantic investments in marketing campaigns, implementation, legal proceedings and lobbying actions to achieve the acceptance of its products in the continent.
In 2001, the directive of 'International release into the environment of genetically modified organisms' was announced in Europe and in most European countries these products were prohibited. Among them, Germany, Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, Ireland, Australia, Luxembourg, Bulgaria and Hungary, who decided to be GMO-free zones. In terms of numbers, only 1% of all corn grown on that continent is transgenic.
Monsanto was not the first company to give up the battle to enter the European market. In 2012, the Basf company announced the withdrawal of its transgenic crops from the continent. Syngenta, had also made the determination years ago, as a result of pressure for its products, both from consumers and from some governments.
Spain is the current European kingdom of GMOs
In any case, the information provided by Investigative Reporting Denmark indicates that Monsanto will apply an exception to the withdrawal of its products and seeds of GMOs from Europe, since in those nations where they have the support of farmers or with political support, they will stay.
If the last point is taken into account, three would be the markets in which the multinational would maintain and expand its activity: the Czech Republic, Portugal and Spain.
For its part, in the Czech Republic this type of crops is decreasing, in Portugal and Spain they continue to develop. In fact, central Spain currently accounts for 90% of Europe's transgenic corn production, despite claims from farmers and consumers. The current support granted to these crops from the political establishment and economic interests have led to their expansion.