Requests from Bayer AG and Monsanto Co. to allow genetically modified soybeans for use in food and feed in the European Union will go to an appeals committee after regulators didn't approve the proposals, the EU said Tuesday.
The EU committee overseeing biotech crops didn't approve a herbicide-resistant soybean from Bayer or renew permission for a soybean from Monsanto, meaning the files will now be examined by an appeals committee, the European Commission, the EU's regulatory arm, said in an emailed statement Tuesday.
The 27-nation EU depends on imports for more than 80 percent of its vegetable protein, mainly soybeans, according to farm lobby Copa-Cogeca. The bloc's approval process for genetically modified plants has hindered companies including St. Louis-based Monsanto and BASF SE of Ludwigshafen, Germany, from expanding the European market for biotech crops.
"The lack of a committee decision does not impact trade and we remain confident that in due course the renewal will be issued," said Kelli Powers, a spokeswoman for Monsanto in an emailed response to questions. "We expect that a positive renewal decision will result in time."
The Monsanto soybean is a so-called Roundup Ready herbicide-resistant variety, according to Powers. The Bayer soybean is also a herbicide-tolerant one, according to Richard Breum, a spokesman for Bayer CropScience AG.