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    Monsanto logo. | Photo: Reuters

Monsanto wins in Europe amid protests and scandals around its GMO crops.

The European Commission approved Friday the import of genetically modified soybean by U.S. agricultural giant Monsanto.

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"Any products produced from these GMOs will be subject to the EU's strict labeling and traceability rules," said the European Commission in a statement.

The launch of Roundup Ready 2 Xtend variety had been delayed for months.

 

"It would have been a big deal if it hadn't been approved, but this was the expected outcome, although it took longer than anyone thought," said analyst Jonas Oxgaard to Reuters.

The announcement is also a breakthrough for Monsanto, after months of regulatory delays and a continuous controversy over whether glyphosate, the chemical in its Roundup herbicide, is carcinogenic.

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After this approval, Monsanto’s GMO soybeans are authorized to be used to feed animals and in human food, but not for planting in the EU. The authorization will be valid for 10 years.

Meanwhile, China, Monsanto’s main importer has already approved the variety.

The EU is the second largest importer of soybeans, importing millions of tons of GMO crops every year.

Protests broke out recently in more than 400 cities worldwide against Monsanto. Many of the demonstrators also protested the sale of the herbicide RoundUp, which many say has caused cancer in humans and led to the development of genetically-modified crops.

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Just recently in Peru, RoundUp left 92 children poisoned after a plane allegedly sprayed glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weed killer, during a fumigation of a nearby sugarcane field.

Monsanto recently declined a buying offer by Bayer worth US$64 billion. If the deal had gone ahead, Bayer would have become the world’s biggest agricultural supplier and would have been set to monopolize both pesticide and seed markets around the globe.


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