The final passage of a highly restrictive genetically modified (GM) crops law is being hailed as a major victory by German Agriculture Minister Renate Künast, but the bioscience community and biotech sector see the new legislation as a blow to German science and industry.
Among the most controversial aspects of the new law are clauses holding planters of GM crops liable for economic damages to adjacent non-GM fields even if they followed planting instructions and other regulations. Opponents say this will create a financial risk some German universities, research organizations, and companies will not take.
Mark Stitt, managing director at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, told
"Germany has potentially one of the most flourishing bioscience industries in the world," Stitt said. "But now,...