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Germany lambasted on GM rules

Strict guidelines could hamper innovation and cost biotech jobs, industry warns

Jane Burgermeister(janeburgermeister@yahoo.co.uk)

The biotech industry and environmental groups have both attacked the German government for the manner in which it last week (February 11) gave the green light to genetically modified (GM) farming.

The Green Party Federal Minister for Consumer Protection, Food, and Agriculture, Renate Künast, said strict guidelines had been added to prevent the contamination of non-GM crops.

“Germany now has the strictest rules in the EU governing GM farming,” Künast said in a statement.

The new law obliges farmers who grow GM crops to endeavor to keep contamination to zero and sets out a list of “good farming practices.”

Organic farmers whose crops have been contaminated—and who lose their right to label their produce as organic as a result—can claim compensation from neighboring GM farmers under tough new liability rules.

Furthermore, the government will keep a central record of all GM crop locations, to be made available to other...

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