Germany appears headed for complete GMO ban

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After the European Parliament on Tuesday, 13 January passed a new Directive on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in Europe, the German Environment Ministry is insisting on a complete ban on green genetic engineering in Germany. It is very important that a political agreement be reached to generally apply the exclusion clause to Germany, emphasised State Secretary on Environment Jochen Flasbarth on Tuesday (13 January) in Berlin.

Under the new directive, EU member states will now be able to choose to opt-out, restricting or completely banning GMO cultivation within their borders. One of the leading proponents of such a legal ban in Germany is its Ministry of Agriculture, which is led by the Bavarian conservative Christian Social Union (CSU). The Ministry also supports a national ban on cultivation. In a position paper from the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Minister Barbara Hendricks outlines that she does not want to leave any backdoors open for genetic engineering.

The GMO law must be changed, so that controversial green genetic engineering cannot be used under any pretext in Germany, she states in the document, according to a report in the Süddeutsche newspaper.

“Green genetic engineering has turned out to be the wrong track,” Hendricks said. It is risky for nature and the environment and is not desired by consumers. “For this reason I would like us to use the EU rules in the future, that can guarantee freedom from genetic engineering in Germany,” she explained.

Read full, original article: German Environment Ministry seeks unconditional GMO ban

  • First Officer

    Does this ban include the ebola drug from GMO tobacco?

    • Eric Bjerregaard

      or g.e. rennet, or insulin?

      • RobertWager

        Only green biotech is banned. Insulin is white biotech and thats all good. As for rennet well cheese is made “with” GE ingredients and not “from” GE ingredients. (or is it the other way round) There is a HUGE difference there, right?

  • It’s pretty obvious they don’t have an agricultural sector. If a government regulatory official said something this belligerently ignorant towards agricultural technology in Canada they’d be unemployed by the end of the day.

  • Craig Branch

    No legitimate science papers support this decision. Thousands show GMOs to be safe. The soccer moms and politicians are running the show.

    • NoToGMOs

      Thousands, huh? Okay, let’s start with one and work our way through as many as we can. Please provide ONE peer-reviewed scientific paper that provides sufficient and satisfactory evidence that GMOs do not pose toxic, carcinogenic, other biochemical and immune risks to human health….including long-term (chronic) health. Eagerly waiting…

      • UnknownC

        Define “sufficient” and “satisfactory” first.

        • NoToGMOs

          -Long-term (life-time of the animal) feeding study of any currently approved and grown GMO crop ( either Bt or Round up ready traits which make up the majority).

          -Conducted in an animal physiologically relevant to humans since we are talking about effects on human health (this means no quails, salmon or broiler chickens!).

          -Looks at toxicological, carcinogenic, endocrinal or other biochemical parameters that relate to human health (this means no ‘production’ studies looking at meaningless parameters like ‘laying intensity’, milk production or ‘hatchability’!)

          -Conducted by independent scientists with no direct or indirect ties to the biotech industry.

          -Preferably conducted using the associated pesticide (for eg. Round up with Roundup ready GMO)

          -Conducted according to accepted international guidelines.

          • UnknownC

            Yeah, “independent scientists with no direct or indirect ties to the biotech industry”. Please give a clear definition of “indirect ties” and some examples of scientists that are free from them.

          • Loren Eaton

            Seralini!!…Oh, wait…never mind.

      • UnknownC

        Also, what you demand is ridiculous: scientists rarely try to prove the nonexistence of stuff. Even when they do, the paper will only focus on one or some specific stuff, not some blanket claim about “toxic, carcinogenic, other biochemical and immune risks”.

        On the other hand, would you please provide ONE peer-reviewed scientific paper that provides evidence that ORGANIC FOOD (e.g. food created by radiation mutation) do not pose toxic, carcinogenic, other biochemical and immune risks to human health? Why don’t you want to ban them?

        • NoToGMOs

          Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it a thousand times before…you can’t prove a negative! No one’s asking you to do that. Just a simple, long-term, independent study in a relevant animal looking at ANY of the following parameters: toxicology, carcinogenic effects, endocrinal effects, immune system effects OR other biochemical effects relevant to human health (any, not all!)……….will suffice.

          “Why don’t you want to ban them?”

          Lol! You ASSume a lot! Who said I don’t want to ban them (foods created by radiation mutagenesis)? Or, at least label them? I do want them labeled or banned….and I’ll get right to them after we get GE foods labeled and/or banned. If you are in such a hurry to see them banned why don’t you start a campaign to do just that? I have no problem with you posting as many studies as you want showing the risks of consuming foods created by radiation mutation or any other technique.

          Still waiting for ONE study (one would assume it would be easy to find ONE out of THOUSANDS!) that provides sufficient and satisfactory evidence (see my post below for what this means) that GMOs are safe for human consumption……..

          • UnknownC

            You want? Really? You know that radiation breeding is NOT labeled even in organic food, right?

            As for the paper, Craig showed you one already. Now you can focus on how you’d ignore it or how it is “not satisfactory or sufficient”.

          • Antumbra

            “Still waiting for ONE study (one would assume it would be easy to find
            ONE out of THOUSANDS!) that provides sufficient and satisfactory
            evidence (see my post below for what this means) that ORGANIC FOODS are safe for
            human consumption……..”

            Right back at you.

            At any rate, “single studies” aren’t very useful. Thousands are. Over two thousand studies are stronger evidence than your mythical super-study.

          • NoToGMOs

            “Right back at you.”

            Sigh, unfortunately for you…..common sense is something that cannot be taught.

            Over two thousand studies are stronger evidence than your mythical super-study.”

            Yes, you go right on ahead and be impressed with ‘quantity’. I, on the other hand, defer to ‘quality’.

          • Antumbra

            Which is a cute way of saying you have no idea what you’re talking about, and have probably never had any level of involvement in scientific publishing or research.

            One study is not enough. It can’t be. Even the best experimentalists have made mistakes – it can be down to as subtle an error source as a heavy mineral deposit underground, or a nearby antenna. In the realm of pure theory, that may not be the case, but this is the real world – and real scientists know that it is usually too much for any one paper to tackle the entirety of a Big Subject.

            Two thousand studies however, is as close to definitive as you can expect. Each is a grain of truth, altogether they have substance.

            By saying that you only need one, you are spitting on the nature and people you claim to protect. There is a terrible risk in relying on only one, just one, source. Especially when it tells you what you want to hear. We are talking about real human lives here – how dare you be so arrogant?

            Now, you’ll possibly try to say “but you only have one source” about this or that or whatever. Fine, say that. But it’s not actually true – studies are interlinked, and you will find they support each other.

            Demanding one SUPER STUDY does not mean you want it. You don’t. But demanding it loudly enough lets you ignore the real super-study – the aggregate of those two-thousand studies.

            You will never get your SUPER STUDY, and you know it. Asking for it is a stalling action, like asking for definitive, totally 100% absolute proof of climate change.

      • Eric Bjerregaard

        Start with the U. of Perugia and then keep on. Also remember that driving to work encompasses risk. The demand for 100% lack of risk is the unreasonable Nirvana fallacy.

      • Craig Branch

        OK, here’s one. You can find more peer reviewed science article at Google Scholar. Help yourself. One: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18328408

        Enjoy.

        • NoToGMOs

          Did you even read it?? That’s not a scientific study….it’s a report! A discussion!

          • Craig Branch

            It’s a review paper, which is a consensus of the pertinent available literature in peer reviewed journals.

          • NoToGMOs

            The only consensus is among those who wrote the paper.

          • Craig Branch

            Yes, there is consensus among scientists – those who actually understand GMOs. Soccer moms and folks like you generally don’t get asked to play in this arena. Ever wonder why?

  • NarrowChristians

    This looks like a populist decision. Hopefully this does not lead to any restrictions on scientific research. To me, they seem to be incapable of grasping the potential of green genetic engineering.

  • First Officer

    Should companies refuse to sell drugs to countries where it would be illegal to produce those drugs? Like the Ebola cure?