Poor test results and consumer resistance mean the Danish authorities won't spend more money convincing the public to accept GMOs.
This is the end of GM crops in Denmark
Niels C. Jensen
DR Dk, 28 May 2013
via Google translate: http://bit.ly/12NMtLx
[apologies for the very poor quality of the automatic translation but hopefully it conveys something of the the gist of the Danish original]
Genetically modified crops have attracted criticism [all] over the world. Especially in Europe and Denmark, where it now seems to be completely finish[ed] with GMO crops. Genetically modified maize has been attempted [to be] grown in Denmark. It is now past [finished] due to poor test results and consumer resistance to GMOs.
Cultivation of GM crops has caused great debate. Now, the last of the food that cultivated GMOs in Denmark chose to drop cultivation.
Monsanto has been in the process of testing the possibilities of production of various GM crops in Denmark, but it is now ended, ABC News, in collaboration with the Center for Investigative Journalism in Denmark, [says].
"In Europe, Monsanto sells only GM maize in the three countries. GMO corn is less than one percent of the EU's growing maize on land. Field trials are only started in three countries. We will not spend more money to convince people to plant them."
Brandon Mitchener, PR Officer for Monsanto in Europe.
- In Europe, Monsanto sells only GM maize in the three countries. GMO corn is less than one percent of the EU's growing maize on land. Field trials are only started in three countries. We will not spend more money to convince people to plant them, says Brandon Mitchener as PR Officer for Monsanto in Europe.
GMO unpopular across Europe
The decision was made behind closed doors, and the company saw no reason to tell about it. Even if it means that all food businesses have now abandoned GM crops in Denmark - and most of Europe.
- It is not surprising when you know chemistry, [the] company Bash stopped their biotech trials in Europe in 2012 and agro company Syngeta moved their studies several years earlier. This will have an effect on the international spread of GM crops globally, says Klaus Sall has studied GM industry for several years and has just released a progress report on the development of GM crops in the EU.
From the Danish: authorities confirm ... that it's over with GM crops in Denmark.
- At the moment there are no GM crop trials in Denmark registered with Nature Business Authority, says Kristine Riskær who is Head of Seeds and Plants at NaturErhversstyrelsen, in cooperation with the EPA's authority in connection with trials of GM crops in Denmark.
She notes, however, that in principle can ... request for new field trials in the future.
Too much complaining throughout Europe
The cultivation of GM crops in Denmark has so far been on a trial basis. Experiments which should lead to a genuine production of, for example, genetically modified maize, among other Danish fields (sic).
But the last field trials, the company behind Monsanto, [have] now stopped. Partly because of consumer resistance to GM food and partly by poor test results.
"The principles want Monsanto to sell biotech seeds in countries where there is widespread support for them among consumers and politicians, while there must be a working, research-based regulated system. Conditions which are only present in a few countries in Europe today."
Brandon Mitchener, Monsanto
Will only work where there are happy consumers
- The principles want Monsanto to sell biotech seeds in countries where there is widespread support for them among consumers and politicians, while there must be a working, research-based regulated system. Conditions which are only present in a few countries in Europe today, says Brandon Mitchener.
He explains further that Monsanto stopped most field trials, including in Denmark, as a result of a strategic decision in 2011 to focus the company's activities in Europe on conventional crops.
Danish agricultural capsized adventure
Talk about GM crops in Danish farmland was given extra momentum in 2009, when then-Agriculture and Food Minister Eva Kjer Hansen presented Monsanto's first three attempts in the production of GM crops in Denmark.
She told then that in three years' time, Denmark would be ready to accept genetically modified crops, and many farmers would grow them. She even invited the Danish press corps on farm visits in Tystofte by Skaelskoer to talk about Danish agriculture's next adventure.
Two years later Monsanto expanded their field trials for another year [with] a total of five different crops. The results of the studies have never been published, therefore the Center for Investigative Journalism in Denmark and Transparency parliament sought access .
Bad GM maize stopped future
The procedure is that the authorities shall test new crops being tested for two years before they may be approved for sale and cultivation in Denmark. It turns out that field trials failed in the second year. In February 2011, the authorities refused one of GM crops from Monsanto on the basis of field experiments.
Specifically, it was about GM maize, which should be resistant to the herbicide Round-Up, but since GM maize only developed 97 percent compared to conventional maize, Monsanto should not expect to get a "yes" for cultivation in Denmark.
Devastating that companies can stop bad results
Then Monsanto canceled other field trials before they were finished. And therefore avoided further discussion of these trials. Centre for Investigative Journalism has tried to gain access to the study results - without success.
Klaus Sall, biologist and GMO expert:
- It is devastating to the scientific method when firms may decide that only positive results are published. This is a good example of the need for a requirement that companies must accept free access to their GMO seeds for scientific studies when they are approved for import into the EU.
Monsanto [reports to the] Center for Investigative Journalism in Denmark that some of the results from field experiments will be published later this year.