The sowing of genetically modified (GM) corn on 30 small farm fields in seven German states for mostly research purposes has unleashed a political uproar that appears likely to grow even louder in coming weeks.

Research coordinators and the three seed companies involved—Monsanto, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, and the German-based firm KWS SAAT—did not publicly announce the project until after the genetically modified seeds to resist corn borer were safely in the soil, to protect them from activists.

Since announcing the project recently, project coordinators, seed companies, and government officials have steadfastly refused demands from the environmental organization Greenpeace and opposition politicians to reveal locations of the farm fields—26 of which are owned by private farmers, with the remaining four fields on public land.

Helga Klein, of the German Plant Breeders' Association (BDP), which is helping coordinate the project, told The Scientist that a total of about...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?