What do Germany’s election results mean for GMOs, gene-edited crops?

angela merkel reuters x
German chancellor Angela Merkel
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

As Germany reels from an unexpected surge for the far right in the 24 September elections, researchers don’t expect much effect on the country’s generous support for science. But with smaller parties standing to gain political influence, battles over issues such as the regulation of gene-edited organisms and how to cut greenhouse-gas emissions could grow fiercer.

The Greens want the same strict regulation for organisms that have been gene edited with precision technologies such as CRISPR, as has been put in place for those modified with conventional, less precise techniques. But the other three parties have hinted that they may support a more liberal form of regulation.

Overall, Germany already tightly regulates research on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and animals in general, and is unlikely to tighten that further under a new government, says Tobias Erb, a director at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg. “But I do expect that it will remain complicated, and might even get more complicated, to release GMOs — and in particular GM plants — if the Greens become part of the next government coalition,” he says.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: What Germany’s election results mean for science

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