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Bayer says not to sell GM maize in UK

Bayer says not to sell GM maize in UK
FRANKFURT - Bayer (BAYG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) will stop trying to sell genetically modified maize to British farmers after new government rules threatened delays, the crop science unit of the German chemicals group said yesterday.

Earlier this month Britain gave conditional approval for commercial planting of genetically modified maize, prompting fury from environmentalists.

Bayer said the conditional approval was a positive step but that there were still too many constraints involved.

\"The government has however placed a number of constraints on this conditional approval....the specific details of these conditions are still not available and thus will result in yet another \"open-ended\" period of delay,\" it said in a statement.

It said these uncertainties and undefined timelines made the crop variety economically unviable.

A Bayer spokesman said the company did not sell Chardon maize, used as a feed for cattle, anywhere in the world. It had planned the UK to be the first market, and had started developing the product in 1999.

\"Forage maize is a small crop in the UK,\" the spokesman said.

Bayer\'s main markets for genetically modified products are in North America. It licenses technology to other seed companies in the United States.

Bayer CropScience had annual sales of around 5.8 billion euros last year and aims to unseat Switzerland\'s Syngenta AG (SYNN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) as the world\'s top agrochemicals company by 2006.

Bayer shares were up 0.25 percent at 20.25 euros at 0827 GMT, in line with the DAX blue-chip index .

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