BASF to focus on plant biotechnology in America

by Staff
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LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY — BASF announced it is concentrating its plant biotechnology efforts on the main markets in North and South America and halting such efforts in Europe.

As a result, the BASF Plant Science headquarters will be moved from Limburgerhof, Germany, to Raleigh, N.C. Research and development efforts will be concentrated mainly in Raleigh; Ghent, Belgium; and Berlin, Germany.

Development and marketing of products targeted only for the European market will be halted. These include bioengineered starch potatoes, a potato resistant to a disease and wheat variety resistant to fungal disease.

“We are convinced that plant biotechnology is a key technology for the 21st century,” said Stefan Marcinowski, member of the board of executive directors of BASF, responsible for plant biotechnology. “However, there is still a lack of acceptance for this technology in many parts of Europe — from the majority of consumers, farmers and politicians. Therefore, it does not make business sense to continue investing in products exclusively for cultivation in this market. We will therefore concentrate on the attractive markets for plant biotechnology in North and South America and the growth markets in Asia.”

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