News last update:6 Aug 2012

Germany to set GMO crop rules

The government in Germany has announced it has agreed to draft rules for the cultivation of genetically modified crops.

The cabinet has already granted a draft law from the Agriculture Minister, Horst Seehofer.
The local German rules have already been authorised by the European Union and notes that farmers who grow GM crops will be liable if neighbouring plantings tainted with more than 0.9% GMO content. Farmers will then have to pay financial compensation. Naturland, Organic farming association, said that the 0.9% of GMO contamination level is too high for members to sell such crops as organic.
The rules declare that there should be a 150-metre gap between GMO crops and conventional crops to prevent cross-pollination and a space of 300-metres must be kept from fields with organic crops. Any changes in the distances will have to be agreed upon by neighbouring farmers.
The draft which is to include a minimum buffer zone from conventional plantings, has been criticised by the German Farmers' Association DBV. It has stated that the rules would be too complex and a single unified buffer zone for conventional and organic crops is needed.
The DBV also criticised the lack of detail about financial liability. "Neither farmers nor the insurance industry has been given a sufficient basis for the calculation of possible liability," the DBV said. Environmental pressure group, BUND, also criticised that buffer zones were too small and would permit uncontrolled cross-pollination of conventional crops.
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