Monsanto, one of the world's biggest and best known genetically modified crops companies, is effectively pulling out of Europe, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
The news is a major blow to the nascent British GM industry which ministers have been championing this year as fears grow about food security.
Monsanto, whose name is synonymous with GM crops, confirmed that it is withdrawing all of its EU applications for approval for new crops.
The decision is understood to affect as many as 10 applications for approval for new GM crops. It is understood that Monsanto is pulling all of its applications for crops in frustration at delays over clearing existing crops at EU level.