Monsanto Co. said it’s leaving Britain due to opposition to genetically modified foods.
Officials at Monsanto — a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation and leading producer of genetically engineered seed — said the company is closing its wheat growing operation, based in Cambridge, which employed 125 people, and selling off crop-breeding centers in France, Germany and the Czech Republic, the Daily Mail reported.
Monsanto made its decision public shortly before the British government’s final announcement on the prospects for GM food, and after research in Britain found GM farming would have long-term negative impacts.
Three studies conducted for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found pollen contamination would spread far further than previously believed, “feral” growth of weed killer would persist for years and the heavy use of chemicals associated with these crops could wipe out some species of birds.
The government’s findings involved hundreds of public meetings and 37,000 questionnaires. Ninety-three percent of respondents said not enough was known about the long-term effects of these foods on health, and 86 percent said they would refuse to eat the GM food.