Issue Date: January 23, 2012
BASF Ends Plant Biotech Development For Europe
BASF has decided to throw in the towel on efforts to develop and commercialize genetically modified crops for Europe. The company says it will move the headquarters of its plant science subsidiary from Limburgerhof, Germany, to Raleigh, N.C., in order to focus on markets in North and South America. BASF attributes the move to a lack of acceptance of biotechnology by European consumers, farmers, and politicians. In 2010, the company received regulatory approval from the European Commission to sell its Amflora genetically modified potato for cultivation in Europe, but it took 13 years to complete the approval process. BASF will halt commercialization of Amflora and two other potato varieties, as well as a wheat variety resistant to fungal disease. Instead, it will focus on higher yield and stress-resistant varieties of corn, soy, cotton, canola, and wheat for other markets. BASF will continue to conduct research at facilities in Ghent, Belgium, and in Berlin, but it will close sites in Gatersleben, Germany, and Svalöv, Sweden. Overall, BASF is cutting 140 positions in Europe.
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