German GM wheat trials continue

Activists have destroyed several field trial sites, but Syngenta is determined to press on

Ned Stafford(scientistnews@yahoo.com )
Apr 12, 2004

Global agribusiness firm Syngenta has replanted genetically modified (GM) wheat in a test field in Germany that was recently damaged by environmental activists, with the firm now vowing to protect the freshly sown field until harvest later this summer.

Rainer Linneweber, spokesman for Syngenta's German subsidiary, Syngenta Agro, told The Scientist that the prime reason for conducting the GM wheat test in Germany was to gather scientific data.

But Linneweber added: "Also, it is a possible signal to the rest of the world: Look, GM trial fields are possible, even in Germany." The country has recently come under attack for the way it regulates GM farming.

In March, Syngenta planted wheat that had been genetically modified to resist fusarium fungus on two fields in the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt. The environmental organization Greenpeace strongly opposed the plantings, and on March 29, around 130 activists invaded the farm fields and...

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