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Germany considers GMO ban despite endorsement of GM crops by Germany’s scientists

| | April 9, 2015
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Germany’s national academy of sciences has strongly endorsed genetically modified (GM) crops as the Bundestag – Germany’s lower house of parliament – begins what will likely be months of debate on whether or not to enact a new law that would ban the cultivation of GM crops in Germany.

The German government is considering a new law to ban genetic modified organism (GMO) after the European parliament passed a law allowing EU states to restrict or ban the cultivation of EU-approved GM crops. Other EU nations are also expected in coming months to consider new laws banning GM crops within their borders.

The endorsement of GM crops by Germany’s national academy of sciences, Leopoldina, was triggered by ‘the looming decision’ by the German government to ban GM crops, says Matin Qaim, a member of Lepoldina’s GMO working group and a professor of agricultural economics and rural development at the University of Göttingen.

Leopoldina state that GM crops can increase yields, reduce the use of insecticides and increase farmers’ income. The academy argues that modern molecular breeding techniques are safe and that cultivation of approved GM crops presents no risk.

Qaim says, decisions for or against the use of crop varieties should be made on a case-by-case basis, not by a complete ban on GMOs. A similar argument has recently been made in the UK.

Read full original article: Future of GM in Germany hangs in the balance

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