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Monsanto Gets an OK from EU

Monsanto headquarters in Creve Coeur (photo from company)
Monsanto headquarters in Creve Coeur (photo from company)

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Biotech giant Monsanto received the OK of the European Commission Monday for 15 bioengineered traits for animal feed.

But the St. Louis-based company is treading lightly in Europe following a recent scandal involving a competitor.

The traits allow crops to be resistant to herbicide or certain insects, among other things.

Monsanto spokesman Bryan Hurley says the approval means U-S farmers will continue exporting genetically-modified animal feed.

"Processed feed is one of the main imports for U.S. corn into the European Union," Hurley said. "So what the European Union's really done here is to allow for continued flow of U.S. corn into processed feed."

Monsanto's approval for the traits in Europe comes a week after European regulators considered suspending imports of corn gluten animal feed entirely.

They considered the ban because Monsanto's Swiss rival Syngenta accidentally mixed an unapproved corn variety with one that had been OK'd for importation.

University of Illinois Agribusiness professor Pete Goldsmith says Monsanto is well aware of Europe's reluctant acceptance of biotech crops.

"It continues to be a significant issue on the food front," Goldsmith said. "On the feed, the energy, the textile front, I think that has many more degrees of freedom."

For its part, Monsanto says the approval will allow American farmers added flexibility in marketing animal feed to Europe.


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