biotech tagged posts

A Top Court Strikes Down French MON810 Ban – for Fourth Time (EN/FR)

You might think the first three high court rejections would send a clear enough message to the French government that it can’t just ban things on a whim. Think again. Although Monsanto wasn’t even selling the product in the country and had no intention to do so, the government in March 2014 tried a fourth time to ban Monsanto’s MON810 genetically modified (GM), insect-resistant maize on dubious scientific grounds. Now France’s top administrative court has struck the ban down–again–for being scientifically baseless.

On August 1st, 2013 and November 28th, 2011, the Conseil d’Etat had already found that the French government’s 2008 and 2011 bans on MON810 cultivation were illegal. Furthermore, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Sept 8th, 2011 found the French ban on the cultivation...

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Innovation? No, thanks! Some EU countries opt out of GM seed cultivation under new law (EN/FR) 

by Brandon Mitchener

Since the European Union first authorised GM crops for cultivation in 1998, EU-level approval was enough to plant them anywhere in the Union, which now counts 28 countries. Several individual nations weren’t happy with that and banned GM crops on political grounds. These bans were systematically struck down as lacking any legitimate scientific basis.

Now, under a new EU law passed earlier this year, countries require no scientific justification for bans on the cultivation of GM crops on their territory and can do so for arbitrary reasons. In fact, some EU countries have begun doing just that.

Monsanto has been made aware of requests (“demands”) to the European Commission from Latvia and Greece to be removed from the scope of our request for EU re-authorization allowi...

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No, we’re not developing biotech palm trees / Monsanto pas concernée par les palmiers biotechnologiques!

Updated with reaction to event:

Yesterday, we blogged about an apparent spoof invitation to a fake press event in Cannes purported to be in the name of Monsanto France.  We made clear in that post that this was a fake invitation to a fake announcement by a fake spokesman.

Earlier today, apparently such an event took place.  So Monsanto wants to reiterate that the event, press release, website and any related communications are a hoax.  See our original blog post below.  Any media outlets with questions about Monsanto’s business in Europe may contact our company’s spokesman, Brandon Mitchener, at

FR: Non, nous ne développons de palmiers biotechnologiques.

Hier, certains blogs ont relayé une invitation factice pour un faux événement presse à Cannes, suppo...

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Thanks for reading – The Monsanto Europe-Africa blog is one year old

91_Catalog_Sm_RGBAs the month of May gets into full swing, Europe is a hive of activity celebrating food and agriculture. This buzz is of course led by EXPO Milano 2015, which kicked off its 6-month-long celebration of the food we eat on the 1st of May under the theme of Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.

The aim of the EXPO Milano is to embrace technology, innovation, culture, traditions, creativity and how they relate to food and diet, with a principal focus on the the right to healthy, secure and sufficient food for all the world’s inhabitants. We couldn’t agree more with these aims, and we have long been proud to champion them.

At Monsanto we also have another reason to celebrate. This May marks the first anniversary of this blog.

The initial reason we started this blog was to raise awareness of...

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Calls for innovation grow louder in the UK

Big_ben_closeupWhilst the European Parliament last week voted to endorse a proposal that would allow European governments to restrict or prohibit cultivation of safe genetically modified (GM) crops, calls to allow GM crops to be cultivated in the UK–conversely–have been gaining momentum.

Earlier this month, two senior UK politicians publicly discussed their views on the benefits of GMO cultivation. At the UK’s annual Oxford Farming Conference, The Right Hon. Liz Truss, MP, the UK’s Environment Secretary, and Lord Krebs, the UK government’s advisor on climate change adaptation, both spoke out to support the scientific facts on why growing GM crops is actually a good thing–for farmers, the climate and a growing population. That is quite the list of reasons to support cultivation…

In her speech to ...

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Europe gives its farmers the cold shoulder as U.S. farmers set records (EN/FR)

Today the European Parliament endorsed a proposal to let European governments restrict or prohibit cultivation of safe GM crops at national or regional level for non-scientific policy reasons. The proposal now goes back to EU national governments for final approval and is expected, if adopted, to enter into force sometime later this year.

EuropaBio, the European Bioindustries Association, of which Monsanto is a member, issued this press release on the topic.

We have already commented on this sad piece of legislation many times, and our position remains the same: This is a bad move for Europe. It undermines science, it undermines European farmers, and it raises prices for European consumers.

Previous posts:

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Any future for green biotech in Europe?

Whatever happened to green biotech in Europe? Despite being one of the most vibrant and innovative industries on the planet, with the potential to solve many of our greatest challenges, green, or agricultural, biotech is a never-ending source of angst in Europe and increasingly, in the U.S., where non-governmental organisations and organic interests increasingly are spreading the same sorts of misinformation that undermined public confidence in green biotech in Europe. (Check out Jimmy Kimmel’s fantastic mockumentary on California organic food shoppers’ complete obliviousness to the meaning of GMOs, which they claim to despise.)

It wasn’t always this way...

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Monsanto is a seed company, not a GM company, European Vegetables Business Lead says

Ibrahim El MenschawiWhen many people think of Monsanto, they immediately think ‘Biotech’ and ‘GM’. Whilst we are proud of our global leadership position on GM crops, it will no doubt surprise many that GMOs are not actually Monsanto’s only focus.

Monsanto is a seed company. That’s what we do. The majority of Monsanto’s innovations are in crop and seed improvement, and in advanced conventional breeding techniques.

In fact, of the more than $4 million (USD) invested by Monsanto in R&D worldwide each day, less than half is spent specifically on GM technology.

Speaking to the IFAJ (International Federation of Agricultural Journalists) Congress in Aberdeen today, (5th September),  Monsanto’s EMEA Vegetable lead Ibrahim El Menschawi underlined this point and highlighted some of the many examples of no...

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The NGOs that are trying to kill science

When presented with facts that change your argument, most people–to paraphrase the oft-misquoted John Maynard Keynes quote– change their mind.

But not if you’re Greenpeace and the 22 other European-based NGOs who are trying to kill science.  Rather, it appears that their preferred course of action is to stamp out the facts entirely.

In a letter to incoming EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, Greenpeace and 8 other NGOs, called for the role of EU Chief Scientific Advisor to be scrapped in the next commission. Undeterred by a sharp reaction from the scientific community,  Friends of the Earth and other NGOs have now added their names to the call.

This is a significant move that goes to the very heart of the role of science in the EU.

The role of Chief Scientific Advisor was est...

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Myth: Monsanto, under pressure, has just decided to stop selling GM maize in Italy

Here we go again. This week brought yet another round of media beat-ups in which organic farmers and others attacked Monsanto for something we haven’t said, done or were ever going to do.

Throughout the Italian Media, politicians, organic farmers and other opponents of genetically modified (GM) seeds and foods were claiming a ‘victory’ over Monsanto. The articles reported that Monsanto was withdrawing from cultivating GMO crops in Italy–this week–as a result of opponents’ successful lobbying over the biotech maize MON810. Well, either those people all have amnesia, or they just like telling bald-faced lies to the public.

Fact: Monsanto has never sold GM maize in Italy. Nor were we about to. Nor planning to anytime in the foreseeable future.

Monsanto DEKALB-brand maize (corn)

Monsanto DEKALB-brand maize (corn)

In fa...

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