BASF abandons GM crops in Europe

Originally posted on Agritate, which is no longer active.

I read this with perhaps a different reaction than most people would, whether they are pro- or anti-GMO: I thought, “Oh no! All those researchers at BASF Agrarzentrum, I hope they will still be employed.” Most of them were extremely kind to me and taught me tons of German phrases while I interned there in 2007. I wasn’t in the GM crop division, but more than those folks are being affected—the entire plant-science headquarters is being moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. That is a lot more drastic than just a single division, but with the amazingly collaborative way the facility in Limburgerhof worked, I imagine it would be difficult to move just one unit.

I do hope my old colleagues are doing well there—I know it would be difficult for many of them to have to relocate. But, then, if they’re in North Carolina, they’ll be much easier for me to meet up with and learn some more German!

I think it’s unfortunate that BASF has to move operations—I mean, it’s a reasonable business decision, but it must have been because of quite a strong reaction when the firm got approval to market the Amflora potato, which was the last time I really paid attention to the situation.

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