The number of release experiments with genetically modified plants in the European Union has been decreasing the last few years, with only 41 applications submitted between January 2012 and May 2012 so far — 30 of those from Spain, where major companies are carrying out a series of field trials. Over 100 applications were submitted in 2009.
The widespread public opposition to genetically modified plants is making the environment surrounding research and authorization increasingly difficult, according to reports. Of the 41 applications submitted so far in 2012, only 10 relate to projects for the development of plants with new or improved traits. Twenty-seven involve cultivation trials with plants that have already been developed, and most of the rest are academic applications.