German states call on Berlin to block GMO crops

11 April 2014 17:41  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s upper house, the Bundesrat, on Friday passed a resolution urging Berlin to ensure that the country will be able to opt out of EU approvals for the cultivation of genetically modified plants (GMO plants).

Furthermore, the Bundesrat, which represents Germany’s state governments, said that it wants Berlin to advocate for a general ban on the cultivation GMO plants in the EU.

The move comes after EU foreign ministers in February voted to approve cultivation of a GMO corn variety by DuPont’s Pioneer business. Germany abstained as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government was divided on the issue.

In its resolution on Friday, the Bundesrat said that current EU proposals providing for opt-outs from EU GMO approvals were not acceptable. Under those proposals, EU members wanting to opt out would first have to engage in “active consultation” with firms applying for approvals, and they would have to abide by certain timelines. 

Until the EU has reached an agreement on an unambiguous opt-out, the Bundesrat wants Germany to vote against all applications for GMO cultivation, it added.

Commentators said that with Friday's resolution, the German states are seeking to prevent GMO plants from getting into the country via a backdoor, even if EU legislation should provide for opt-out clauses.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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