*Sad, sad, sad…you know, Europe did just fine before Monsanto. Unfortunatey, I am afraid it won’t do fine AFTER Monsanto. Once again, the people’s desires are thwarted.*
BRUSSELS -(Dow Jones)- European Union governments late Wednesday couldn’t agree on whether to allow Monsanto Co. (MON) to import a new genetically modified soybean, sending the decision back to the European Commission, the E.U.’s executive arm, where it is likely to be approved.
It means the soybean, known as Roundup Ready 2, is likely to gain approval faster than many other biotech products that have been stuck in the E.U.’s complicated regulatory system. That is encouraging for some in the industry who have long complained that the E.U.’s system is unnecessarily slow.
“It’s moved faster than is usual in our industry,” said Nathalie Moll of EuropaBio, the lobbying group for the biotech industry in the E.U., “but that’s the speed it should move at.”
Approval usually takes three years or more. The E.U is on track to approve Roundup Ready 2 in a little more than two years after Monsanto first sought approval. The issue of soybean imports has put pressure on the E.U. to speed up its approval process. Imported soybeans form a crucial source of protein for the continent’s livestock. The Monsanto soybean will be planted over millions of acres in the U.S. in 2009. Without approval, European importers might not ship soybeans from the U.S. for fear that their cargoes will become contaminated with the Monsanto soybean.
European farmers import about 75% of their soybeans, mainly from the U.S., Brazil and Argentina.