Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) will withdraw its applications seeking approval for genetically modified (GM) crops in Europe, according to European Union officials, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

The majority of GM crop applications pending with the European Commission were from Monsanto, an EU spokesman told Bloomberg.

“It’s clear there isn’t a path to market and commercialize GM products for cultivation in Europe,” said Monsanto spokesman Mark Buckingham. “We need to focus our limited resources where we can get the best return. In Europe, there are significant opportunities in conventional breeding.”

  • Monsanto France 2012

    French beekeepers demonstrate to protest the use of genetically-modified organisms in front of French Monsanto headquarters in Bron, near Lyon, France.

    Photo: Reuters
  • Anti-Monsanto in Europe

    French beekeepers protest against Spanish honey with pollen containing a genetically modified seed developed by Monsanto Corporation.

    Photo: Reuters

Monsanto previously worked to dilute successful GM labeling legislation in Connecticut, where lawmakers ensured that their GM legislation would only take effect if some other states adopt similar laws.

In many states, lawmakers fear litigation stemming from the passage of GM legislation. A successful suit could strike down the laws and be an expensive blunder, if food companies or other parties show that such laws pre-empt the authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or unfairly impede commercial speech or interstate commerce.

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