29 October 1998
Monsanto under fire from GM crop rivals

By FWi staff

BIOTECH giant Monsanto is under fire from rival companies who are worried they face a public backlash against genetically modified (GM) crops.

The rival companies claim that the way Monsanto introduced herbicide-resistant soya into Europe has increased anxiety about the GM crops.

The companies argue that Monsanto failed to give European consumers the choice of buying products made from conventional soya.

Farmers and distributors in the USA refused to separate GM soya from conventional supplies and shipped mixed batches of the product to Europe.

Consequently, European supermarkets are unable to guarantee that hundreds of products contained no GM soya.

Surveys have shown that consumer choice is very important to shoppers faced with GM food products and several of Monsantos rivals aired their anger in this weeks issue of the New Scientist magazine.

One anonymous contributor accused Monsanto of “arrogant stupidity”.

Nigel Poole, the head of regulatory affairs for Zeneca Plant Science, said: “Its a matter of respect for your customer.”