Crop Biotech Update

Germany Re-evaluates GM Maize License

March 27, 2009

German agriculture minister Ilse Aigner has, on different occasions, expressed her firm stand against genetically modified crops. Last month, in an interview with the German daily Berliner Zeitung, Aigner said that the government may revoke the license for the cultivation of MON810 maize varieties because neither farmers nor consumers want genetically modified crops. The agriculture minister recently made a similar statement in the German magazine Bayernkurier. Aigner said that the authorization of MON810 is currently being re-evaluated. The insect-resistant maize developed by Monsanto Company is the only transgenic crop approved for cultivation in the European Union.

Aigner however admitted that Germany is unlikely to follow the steps taken by Austria and Hungary, neighboring countries that issued a ban against the GM maize. The Bayernkurier has quoted Aigner as saying: "A firm stance on the part of the CSU (Christian Social Union of Bavaria party) or myself against planting does not make it a majority on a national level. It is just not possible at the moment to reach a majority for a general ban in Germany."

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