European farmers dig up thousands of hectares of crops following detection of banned GMO canola seeds

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Bayer said on [February 6] that farmers in France and Germany were digging up thousands of hectares of rapeseed [canola] fields after traces of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) banned for cultivation were found in seeds sold by the company.

GMO crops are widely grown across the world, but they remain controversial in Europe, where very few varieties are authorized for growing and some countries like France have completely outlawed their cultivation, citing environmental risks.

Checks by the French authorities during the autumn showed minute quantities of GMO seeds, estimated at less than 0.005 percent of the volume, in three batches of rapeseed seeds sold under the Dekalb brand, Catherine Lamboley, Bayer’s chief operating officer for France, said.

Related article:  How anti-GMO research is manufactured: Challenging two Séralini-lab studies that fueled renewed safety concerns over GMOs and glyphosate

Bayer issued a product recall but some of the seed had already been sown, representing about 8,000 hectares in France and 2,500-3,000 hectares in Germany, which are in the process of being dug up, Bayer said.

Bayer declined to estimate the overall cost of the GMO contamination but said it will offer compensation of 2,000 euros ($2,277.80) per hectare to affected farmers, suggesting a payout of around 20 million euros in France and Germany.

Read full, original article: French, German farmers destroy crops after GMOs found in Bayer seeds

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