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Crop Biotech Update

Germany Sends Mixed Messages on Agricultural Biotechnology

June 22, 2012

The USDA FAS Global Information Network (GAIN) reports the current status of agricultural biotechnology in Germany. It is characterized by mixed policies and messaging, the report says. In summary, the general public has rejected biotech crops as there is no commercial biotech crop production, the government has banned the planting of some EU-approved biotech crops, and GM products are not sold in the markets.

The report discussed various government policies that support biotechnology and the rise of the industries such as the "High-Tech Strategy 2020".  Under this strategy, the German government "seeks to lead in Europe in terms of number of biotech enterprises, sales and employment figures." They have also launched a "National Research Strategy BioEconomy 2030" to advance research. However, large anti-biotech NGOs are targeting retailers who are offering GMO-labeled products. In addition, Germany which gave rise to top biotech crop companies such as Bayer CropScience, BASF and KSW, has also many anti groups that made field testing and research not conducive thus, BASF has announced its relocation to the United States in January this year.

Details of the report can be viewed at http://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Agricultural%20Biotechnology%20Annual_Berlin_Germany_5-10-2012.pdf.