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Portugal plants 60% more GM maize in 2011

Portuguese maize farmers increased their adoption of genetically modified maize by 60% this year, the European biotechnology industry association, EuropaBio, reports. The area sown with the GM line has risen to 7,843 ha. The published figures follow those showing a jump in planting of Bt maize in Spain, where the area dedicated to the GM line almost reached 100,000 ha (see this issue). Monsanto’s GM insect-resistant MON810 maize is the only GM maize approved for cultivation in the EU. EuropaBio’s director for green biotechnology, Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, claims that EU farmers are foregoing environmental and financial benefits. “EU farmers are missing out on €440-930 million [$580-1,230 million at the current rate] each year, simply because they do not have access to the GM crops that could be grown here,” she says.

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