GENET archive


6-Regulation: Differences still abound in German government over GM crops

                                 PART I
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TITLE:  Differences still abound in German government over GM crops
SOURCE: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany, translated by Mark Hucko
        posted by Checkbiotech, Switzerland
DATE:   14 Feb 2006

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Differences still abound in German government over GM crops
The parties comprising the current German coalition are not united in
their approach to biotechnology.

The new German chancellor Angela Merkel appears to be more open to
biotechnology than was the case with the previous Red-Green government
coalition. There are uncertainties about the correct way to relax the
rules governing the planting of genetically modified (GM) crops - despite
the wide-spread German opposition.

Last week, the German cabinet approved only some minor regulations, but
there appears to be no change of course between this and the previous
red-green government.

Officially they are talking about a two-stage process. The current
modifications are necessary to make sure German laws conform with the EU-
laws, in order to prevent penalties.

In the course of the past year, regulations for transgenic crops have
been slowly shaping, especially concerning the possible liability fund
stemming from the mixing of pollen from GM crops with other crops.

A recent television appearance of the Agriculture Minister, Horst
Seehofer (CSU-party), left no doubts that he wants to push through the
plans of Chancellor Merkel despite the opposition of many German
citizens. In public opinion polls, the majority of the German citizens
are against the planting of the genetically modified crops.

Seehofer said that he does not want to ease the rules governing the
large-scale plantation of transgenic crops, and that he wants to continue
with a long-term process of discussion.

However the new CDU-political leaders of the new German coalition
consider it a necessity to use political pressure to make sure that the
liberalization announced by Chancellor Merkel will take place. They
realize that there is a risk that the passage of new and more liberal
laws will end up being endlessly postponed.

On the other hand, the SPD politician responsible for German research,
Ulla Burchardt, cautioned against quick decisions and said that to
achieve a balance between innovation and various interests, considerable
time is needed. Burchardt left open the question whether or not in the
end the more liberal rules will prevail.

In the meantime, biotechnology-based companies have proposed an initial
financing of a liability fond. This fond will reimburse farmers'
financial losses, if they have to sell their crops with a loss due to
cross-pollination with genetically engineered plants.

                                 PART II
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Germany to grow 1500 hectares of GM maize
SOURCE: Landwirtschaft, Switzerland, translated by Stephan Nyeki
        posted by Checkbiotech, Switzerland
DATE:   10 Feb 2006

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Germany to grow 1500 hectares of GM maize	

Germany only expects to plant a limited amount of genetically modified
crops this year.

The German Office for Consumer Protection and Food Security only
registered about 1536 hectares at the end of January. Most of the hundred
or so applications concerned cultivation of the MON810 Bt maize variety.

The agriculture press agency Agra-Europe reported that the Federal Office
licensed three of these pest-resistant strains to Monsanto and Pioneer
Hi-Bred in December 2005.

Farmers are holding back with the cultivation of such crops in view of
liability issues should out-crossing of genetically engineered plants occurs.

The largest interest in GM maize exists in the new federal states: 876
hectares are being grown in the state of Brandenburg, with Saxony and
Saxony-Anhalt in second and third places with 243 and 232 hectares,
respectively, followed by Mecklenburg-Vorpommern with 139 hectares.

The largest areas in the states of former West Germany, are 21 and 13
hectares in Baden-Württemberg and Bayern. Other states are growing even
less, with the exception of the city states and Saarland.


European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
In den Steinäckern 13
D - 38116 Braunschweig

P: +49-531-5168746
F: +49-531-5168747
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