Germany decided to outlaw the cultivation of genetically modified crops and GM seeds, following suit from Scotland who took similar measures earlier in September.
A spokesman for The Agriculture Ministry, Christian Fronczak announced, “The German government is clear in that it seeks a nationwide cultivation ban. There’s resistance from all sides, from the public to the farmers.”
Germany is taking advantage of new measures allowing countries to opt out of growing gene-modified crops. Switzerland’s Syngenta AG and U.S. rival Monsanto Co. have been among the strongest proponents of the seeds, which are mostly banned in the EU because of what some say are uncertain environmental and health effects. Monsanto maintains the products are safe.
The Agriculture Ministry has asked for the backing of state ministries in a letter sent in the past few days, Fronczak said. Germany gave state governments a deadline until Sept. 11 to reply. If it doesn’t hear any objections from the states, it will ask that companies exclude Germany from their applications to sell GMO seeds, Fronczak said.
There is one genetically modified crop, a variety of corn designed to be pest-resistant, already grown in the EU and eight pending applications for GMO seeds, according to an April statement from the European Commission.