Germany bans Monsanto’s GM maize MON 810

14 April 2009 15:13  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Germany has banned Monsanto’s genetically modified MON 810 maize (corn), the country's agriculture ministry said on Tuesday.

Federal agriculture minister Ilse Aigner said there was “good reason for the assumption” that Monsanto’s MON 810 maize posed a danger for the environment.

She pointed to several studies and noted that five EU states had already taken measures against the product.

Aigner said that the ban was based on the specifics of MON 810; it was not politically motivated and should not be understood as a broad ruling against genetically modified technology, she said.

The agriculture ministry was working on a strategy paper that would outline its future approach to genetically modified technology, she said.

MON 810 was up until now the only genetically modified maize allowed for commercial planting in Germany. Monsanto had received approval for MON 810 from EU authorities in 1998.

German commentators said the ban, coming in the run-up to Germany’s federal election on 27 September, could help Chancellor Angela Merkel gain some votes. Aigner is a member of Merkel’s CDU/CSU party.

The country's chemical producers association, VCI, said earlier that Europe’s farmers were losing their competitiveness as they did not have the same access to modern genetically modified plant technologies as their counterparts in other parts of the world.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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