German chemical company BASF may consider moving its research into genetically modified crops to the US unless the European market becomes more accepting of new technologies.

Chief executive Jürgen Hambrecht told the Financial Times that the company could not afford to continue to invest in research and development if there was no market for its products.

"If you can no longer push innovation through to the market, the next step will be that R&D will go. You will transfer R&D to a place where you can really push innovation into reality, because we need to earn money, we cannot only spend money," he was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

Hambrecht said relocating the company's research into GM crops to the US was not being actively discussed, but warned the company could not wait ten years for Europe to become more receptive to biotechnology.

"If things don't change in the long term, BASF would have to reconsider. But I still hope that things are going to change," Hambrecht told the newspaper.