Renate Künast, German minister for Agriculture and Consumer Protection, is facing allegations of exerting undue political influence on science this week after it emerged that she instructed government researchers to cancel at least two projects into genetically modified crops.
Künast is a member of the Green Party, which forms a coalition government with Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's Social Democrats. The party strongly opposes agro-biotechnology, arguing that it is unsafe and that risks cannot be properly assessed.
On Wednesday (March 9), the German parliamentary opposition is scheduled to put a series of questions to the government about revelations that first came to light on February 18, when the monthly newsletter Laborjournal reported that in September of last year, two researchers had received letters from Künast's office requiring them to stop specific research projects and not comment publicly on them.
Joachim Schiemann from the