Germany releases new GM crop rules

29-01-2008 | |

It is now easier for German Farmers to sow genetically altered corn. This is because Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition steered legislation through parliament in Berlin today outlining new rules on sowing a pest-resistant corn seed known as MON180, whose patent is held by Monsanto. Lawmakers also framed a voluntary code on labelling food that’s free of genetically altered substances.

Although Agriculture Minister Horst Seehofer said his decision to give the
go-ahead for MON180 was aimed at helping Germany’s biotechnology industry.
Monsanto said the new legislation fails to remove hurdles for farmers who want
to plant the crop.

“Merkel’s coalition pledged to ease barriers to
`green’ genetic technology; the new rules are very disappointing,” Andreas
Thierfelder, Monsanto’s director of public affairs in Germany, said in an
interview. “They’re restrictive and may deter expansion of the crop in Germany.”

MON180 maize, which is used in
animal feed, is currently the only genetically modified crop approved for
commercial planting in the European Union. While it was technically legal in
Germany before 2006, the government did not license the seed for sale. France
has banned

the seed.


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