Germany: No plans for further bans on GMOs

20-04-2009 | |

Germany’s agriculture minister Ilse Aigner has said that the country has no plans to further restrict imports of EU-approved genetically modified (GM) food and feed products. Last Tuesday it banned growing of a biotech maize.

“All things that we import have been approved (at EU level) and we’re not going to look at that again,” Germany’s Agriculture and Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner said.

“This was just about one maize variety, where we had a study suggesting it was a danger to the environment,” she said in an interview during a meeting of farm ministers in Italy.

Just last week Tuesday Germany put a ban on cultivation and sale of Monsanto’s MON 810 maize. Germany is the sixth country to do so after France, Austria, Hungary, Greece and Luxembourg.

Germany’s ban on MON 810 maize means farmers will be unable to sow the crop for this summer’s harvest. MON 810 first gained EU approval for growing in 1998 and its licence is currently under review for a renewal.

The biotech maize so far is the only authorised cultivar within the 27 countries of the European Union.

GMO imports allowed
However, there are a number of approved EU imports of GM products grown outside the EU-27, mostly for use in food and animal feed.

Some of those products have also been subject to national bans, which a country may impose under EU law if it can justify scientifically invoking what is known as a “safeguard clause”.

“We have a labelling provision in Germany for animal products,” Aigner said. “”We do import GM feed stuff but we want to make sure that consumers have choice through that label.”