Germany’s top court upholds strict gene technology law

24 November 2010 20:32  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Germany’s constitutional court on Wednesday upheld the country’s strict law on gene technology against a challenge from the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.

The court ruled, in particular, that the law’s “public site registry”, which discloses the locations of farms that deploy gene technology, was in compliance with the country’s constitution.

The registry played an important and legitimate role in helping to create transparency, and in forming public opinion on genetically modified technologies, the court ruled.

The court said it did not agree that the existence of the registry increased the risks of activists attacking and destroying farms or facilities that deploy gene technology, as argued by many industry participants.

The court also upheld the law’s far-reaching liability for companies or farmers using gene technology.

Heike Moldenhauer, a gene technology expert with Germany’s powerful environmental pressure group BUND, welcomed the ruling.

She said the vast majority of Germans, some 80%, are against the use of gene technology in agriculture and food production, citing surveys. Therefore, she added, the court’s decision supports the position of farmers and consumers who oppose gene technology.

Further details about the ruling are available, in German, on the court's website.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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