HAMBURG (B)--Swiss foods giant Nestle has decided to give up sales of genetically-modified products in Europe and will instead concentrate marketing on the third world, Nestle chief executive officer Peter Brabeck-Letmathe was quoted saying in Austrian newspaper Der Standard Oct. 16. He said widespread public resistance to GM food in Europe makes its marketing unfeasible.

"In view of 800 million people who are hungry we have a global responsibility to develop new technologies which help," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Without GM technology, the goal of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization of reducing the resources needed for food production by one-quarter cannot be reached, he added.

In Europe there are "250 privileged consumers, who generally have too much to eat rather than too little," he added.

This means that Europe does not need GM technology, he added. Two years ago, the newspaper said Brabeck-Letmathe had warned Austria that its status as a location for Nestle activities was endangered if the country continued to reject GM products.

But the newspaper reported he no longer says Austria is under threat as long as Germany, Europe's largest food importer, continues to reject GM products.

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