Criminal conspiracy behind further GM trial destruction says minister (17/7/2006)

"We are dealing here with a criminal conspiracy, and the public prosecutor's office
will now intervene" - Federal Agricuture Minister Horst Seehofer

Federal Minister Seehofer condemns destruction of experimental field
Federal Ministry for Nutrition, Agriculture and Consumer Protection
Press release No. 119 (translated via agnet) 15 July 2006

"The destruction of open-air field trials interferes with research data we urgently need to clarify the future of green genetic engineering," said Federal Agricuture Minister Horst Seehofer, after being informed of further deliberate destruction of perormance and registration trials of GM varieties conducted by the Federal Seed Variety Office [Bundessortenamt]. "We are dealing here with a criminal conspiracy, and the public prosecutor's office will now intervene," Seehofer added.

Intensive research is a necessary prerequisite for determining whether green genetic engineering can be put to use in the future safely, without risks to the consumer. The destruction of field trials conducted for research purposes is incomprehensible. Both proponents and opponents of genetic engineering would be bound to acknowledge the results of the research.

"There is no transparent, neutral alternative to field trials, since they cannot effectively be conducted under strict laboratory conditions," Seehofer stressed. "In the end, those who destroy field trials only hurt themselves." Without valid research results, the actual risks of green biotechnology could remain undetected. These risks - indeed, even the likelihood - of the cultivation of GM varieties must be examined closely in light of possible future developments in plant breeding.

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