Germany has started taking steps towards banning the use of all genetically modified crops.
Despite being approved as “safe” by the European Union, on Monday Germany became the latest EU country to take a stand against GMO crops in its food supply, just weeks after Scotland made a similar announcement
New rules will allow individual member states to block farmers from using GM organisms, even if the variety has been approved on an EU-wide basis.
— GMO Inside (@GMOInside) August 26, 2015
Common Dreams reports: German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt told government officials that he will seek to implement the European Union’s “opt-out” rule to stop GMO crop cultivation in the country, including those varieties which may be approved by the EU, according to documents seen by Reuters this week.
Individual regions in Germany will have until September 11 to inform Schmidt if they wish to be included in the opt-out. Germany will then have until October 3 to tell the EU whether or not it will participate in the cultivation program.
As agriculture ministry spokesperson Christian Fronczak told Bloomberg, “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,” Fronczak said.
Scotland was the first country to ban GMOs across the board earlier this month, a move it said was needed to preserve the country’s “clean and green brand”.
According to the Independent, the SNP’s Rob Gibson said: “Like Scotland, the German Government recognises the importance of protecting its food and drink sector and keeping its environment clean and green.
“In government, the SNP has ensured that Scotland is at the forefront of environmental protection – legislating for world-leading climate change targets, significantly increasing renewable generation and placing a moratorium on fracking. The German decision shows that Scotland is now also leading Europe on GM crops.”
EU countries have been given until 3 October 2015 to inform the Commission if they which to opt out of the bloc-wide approvals
The question of GM crops has created divided opinion in Europe. The UK government is among those in favour, while Germany and France have previously said they are opposed.