THE BIOTECH giant Monsanto has confirmed it will abandon its attempt to grow GM canola in Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports.

The news came just days after Monsanto announced that it would discontinue efforts to introduce GM wheat worldwide.

The company said that state-based bans and restrictive trial conditions had forced the withdrawal from Australia.

Spokesman Mark Buckingham said Monsanto‘s trials would not go ahead this season and that he was not hopeful about further trials, according to the ABC.

“It would take a significant change in the regulatory environment across the states for the opportunity in canola to become attractive,” he said.

“We have a number of concerns around the moratoriums but also around the imposition of inconsistent and restrictive conditions on conducting trials between the states, and then the delay in trial approvals and the fact that there are different systems and different processes across each state.”

Friends of the Earth said Monsanto‘s decision was yet further evidence of widespread international consumer and farmer opposition to GM crops.

The environmental group called on the EU to continue to block the licensing of new GM food and crops.

The EU is expected to make a decision on the six year long moratorium next week.

Friends of the Earth‘s GM campaigner Pete Riley said: “News that Monsanto has abandoned plans to grow GM oil seed rape in Australia is another massive blow to the biotech industry.”

“There is massive opposition across the world to GM food and crops and concern about the potential impacts on our food, farming and the environment are growing.”

“The European Union must take note and continue to refuse to allow any new GM products onto the European market,” Mr Riley said.