Monsanto signals partial withdrawal from EU

Press release - May 29, 2013
Brussels – Monsanto will no longer actively push their products within the EU, except in countries where there is political support, according to a story from Danish media service Investigative Reporting Denmark [1]. The news comes after over two million people worldwide came out onto the streets over the weekend to protest against political interference and environmental damage by one of the world’s biggest biotech companies.

Twenty-seven Greenpeace activists (one for each EU member state) display a banner reading "toxic warning" and "GM Crops = More Agrochemicals" outside the European Commission headquarters


A Monsanto representative is quoted in the report as saying that the company decided in 2011 to stop pushing its untested and potentially dangerous products within the EU, except in those countries where it “enjoys broad farmer support” and “broad political support”. The representative concluded that Monsanto will therefore restrict its genetically modified (GM) crops to only Spain and Portugal. However, he noted that existing field trials will continue. There is no indication that Monsanto will drop its pending applications to market new GM crops in the EU.

German chemical company BASF withdrew its biotech operations from Europe in January 2012 [2].

Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director Marco Contiero said: “This is a good day for science and innovation in Europe. With their obsession on GM, Monsanto and other biotech multinationals have been hindering progress for too long. Genetic engineering is a crude and outdated technology. It threatens the environment and health, and it cannot provide the solutions that farming desperately needs. Other cutting-edge biotechnologies and ecological methods should now be given the space to deliver real benefits for European farmers and consumers [3].”


[1] ‘GMO lose Europe – victory for environmental organisations’, Investigative Reporting Denmark, 29 May:


[3] ‘Chemical giant BASF flees Europe’, Greenpeace blogpost, January 2012:


Marco Contiero - Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director: +32 (0) 477 777 034,

Ed Davitt - Greenpeace media officer: +32 (0)476 988 584,

For breaking news and comment on EU affairs:

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