<p>Mariann Fischer Boel</p>

© European Community, 2005

Newly installed European Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel suggests there might be a major shift in European Union policies on genetically modified (GM) crops. In an interview with Berliner Zeitung, a daily newspaper, Fischer Boel says that GM and non-GM fields must be separated to avoid GM contamination, although "regulations must not be so hard that the producers of GM crops have no chance to come to market."

Currently, the European Union leaves it up to member states to regulate sowing of GM crops, so they do not contaminate adjacent non-GM fields with GM pollen. Coexistence of GM and non-GM farm fields is so controversial in several EU nations, including Germany, that Fischer Boel's predecessor, Franz Fischler, simply avoided the issue.

Some German political observers saw Fischer Boel's comments as a veiled reference to Germany's new strict GM law, which holds planters...

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