German Greens and Social Democrats propose national GMO ban

| | July 6, 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 debate over banning genetically modified (GM) plants has come to a head: Green/Social Democratic coalitions in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein presented a bill on Tuesday (June 30) proposing a nationwide ban on GM plants effective “in the entire sovereign territory”.

Agriculture Minister Schmidt is in a tight squeeze. Though he hopes to reject the cultivation of GM crops, Schmidt has left it up to German states to decide on a ban. “Now I expect the participants not to further set themselves in stone ideologically,” he said.

But state ministers have a different view. Green politicians are concerned that the ban will create a patchwork system, resulting in GM-free states beside states allowing GM crops.

“Whether it be seeds or honey, all of conventional and ecological agriculture, the grocery chain and our environment must be protected from GM contamination,” State Agriculture Minister Ulrike Höfken from Rhineland-Palatinate warned. But to do this, Höfke pointed out, a national ban is needed.

Schmidt’s current proposal for a GM ban bill provides for state governments or responsible authorities to issue cultivation bans.

A cultivation ban for all of Germany would be much more likely to violate the principle of proportionality than a regional ban among the states. An opt-out is suited to specific local conditions, would maintain proportionality, and be able to hold up in court.

Schmidt emphasised that his proposed compromise offers the most legal security against appeals of the bans, which would have to be newly agreed on after every application for cultivation.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: German states draft bill for nationwide GMO ban

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