According to Deutsche Welle, German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner announced a ban on the cultivation of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) corn strain MON 810, following results from a number of studies that caused Germany to question the product’s environmental safety.
MON 810 — the only GM crop currently allowed on German soil — was approved for commercial use in the EU in 1998. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has declared the strain of corn safe. Under EU law, member countries can legislate a national ban on GM organisms if the nation’s government can justify the prohibition.
The GM corn, which includes a gene which protects it against the European corn borer, was due to be planted on 3,600 hectares in Germany this season, mostly in the eastern part of the country.
Aigner has the support of environmental federations and politicians across party lines. Politicians from his own Christian Social Union (CSU) party, the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), as well as the Green Party and the Left Party, have called for a long-term ban on the cultivation of GM crops. Bavarian Environment Secretary Markus Soeder of the CSU party wants to make Germany a "GM-free zone."
(Source: Farm Chemicals International eNews)