Quiet GM exit

August 2014

Photo of maize plants in a field
Maize crop. CC photo by Manu on Flickr
While a major damage limitation exercise swung into motion in response to science which flagged up harmful effects from a GM 'Roundup Ready' maize and its associated herbicide, 'Roundup', [1,2,3], other meaningful action was going on behind the scenes.

During the year after the publication of the offending study, Monsanto and US biotech firm Pioneer quietly withdrew their EU applications for the cultivation of four GM crops. All of them were Roundup-tolerant: two of them were hybrids of maize 'NK603', the strain in which harmful effects were identified.

We are left with any amount of GM Roundup-contaminated animal feed imported from overseas in our food chain.

Also, there are still EU applications pending to import and cultivate two Syngenta glyphosate-tolerant maize crops and one Bayer glyphosate-tolerant cotton crop. Note that by-products of cotton production feature very heavily in our food chain in the form of animal feed and 'vegetable' oil.


Biotech companies may be taking the recent negative science about GM safety more seriously than they claim.

However, while the focus has been on the biggest US offender, it seems that Syngenta (Swiss) and Bayer (German) have been somewhat under the radar. See what you can do to make them as aware of the problems as everyone else seems to be. The media and your MEP are good places to start.

[1] GM MAIZE ISNOT SAFE TO EAT - October 2012
[2] TORCHING THE SCIENCE - December 2013
[3] FOLLOW-UP OR COVER-UP? - News, August 2014

  • Monsanto and Pioneer withdraw another four applications for the cultivation of genetically engineered crops in the EU,, 1.07.14

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