Syngenta withdraws two GM crops following widespread rejection by EU governments

Press release - October 12, 2015
Brussels – Agrochemical company Syngenta has withdrawn two out of four of its GM maizes awaiting EU approval [1], following widespread rejection of GM crop cultivation by two thirds of EU governments [2].

According to the European Commission, on 8 October, Syngenta withdrew pesticide-producing MIR 604 and pesticide-producing and herbicide-resistant Bt11xMIR604xGA21.

Two other Syngenta GM maizes have not been withdrawn and are still pending approval. They are herbicide-resistant GA21 and pesticide-producing and herbicide-resistant Bt11.

Prior to the announcement by Syngenta, 15 national governments and four regional governments had announced opt-outs from future EU approvals of the two withdrawn GM maizes.

Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director Marco Contiero said: “This is good news for agricultural innovation in Europe. Multinationals like Syngenta aggressively promote GM crops and pesticides because they want to control the food chain. Their obsession has stood in the way of real progress in agriculture, including through smart breeding and ecological farming. Not only does genetic engineering fail to respond to the challenges of food production, it threatens the environment and our health."

Syngenta’s announcement follows a similar move by Monsanto in 2013, when the US company withdrew all EU applications for GM crop cultivation except one (for its pesticide-producing Mon810 maize – the only GM crop currently grown in the EU), citing their commercial unviability and public resistance [3]. In 2012, the biotech arm of German chemical company BASF withdrew from the EU after the market failure of its GM potato Amflora [4].





[4] The Commission’s approval of Amflora was subsequently declared illegal by the European Court of Justice:


Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911,

Marco Contiero – Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director: +32 (0)477 777034,


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