Biotech Updates

Unapproved GM Linseed Found in Germany

September 18, 2009

A deregulated, genetically modified linseed (flax) variety form Canada is reported to have been detected in Germany. The Agriculture Ministry of the German state of Baden-Württemberg said that it has found traces of the GM linseed in 16 out of 41 samples it took from a shipment. Peter Hauk, the state's agriculture minister said "We assume this does not affect just Germany, but all of Europe." Hauk added that the "contaminated" shipments appeared to come from Canada, and demanded a ban on all Canadian linseed imports. Linseed is used in a number of food products in Germany.

The ministry stressed that the GM linseed, known as FP967 or CDC Triffid, is not considered dangerous to consume. CDC Triffid was approved for cultivation in Canada in 1998. Cultivation, however, was withdrawn in 2001.

Germany has one of the strictest GMO policies in the world. The country banned the cultivation of the insect resistant, genetically modified maize MON810 earlier this year. The maize is the only GM variety allowed for cultivation in the European Union. Attacks on GM field trials have also been common in Germany.

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