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German government, farm group face off over impact of potential glyphosate ban

, , | | September 25, 2019
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The German agriculture ministry strenuously rubbished a claim by farmers association DBV that the country’s new insect protection plan, which involves phasing out glyphosate, could cost farmers a whopping €30 billion. Berlin announced sweeping measures [in September] to protect the country’s shrinking insect and pollinator populations, including €100 million for insect research, better bug monitoring and plans to phase out the controversial weedkiller glyphosate by 2023.

…. But for Germany’s agriculture ministry, the farm association’s most recent criticism of the plan — that farmland would lose €30 billion worth in value — is one claim too far.

Berlin’s top agriculture civil servant, Hermann Onko Aeikens, sought to dismantle the logic behind the assertion in a lengthy public letter to DBV head Joachim Rukwied. Aeikens wrote that the group had vastly overestimated the amount of land that would be affected by the plans, which are yet to be implemented. Rukwied had calculated that 3 million hectares would each lose €10,000 of value.

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But the government official accused him of “excessive exaggeration,” of using figures which are “almost grotesquely exaggerated” and advised him to “conduct this discussion on the basis of facts.” Aeikens added: “Your calculation is completely unfounded, both in terms of the size of the area and the postulated reduction in value.”

Read full, original article: Morning Agri and Food (Behind paywall)

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