GM maize destroyed in Germany / Pharma crops in Germany (7/8/2006)

1."No Reign of Terror in Germany"
2.Pharma crop field trials in Germany

150 square meters of GM maize were apparently destroyed in Germany by GM opponents recently. The pro-GM lobby group InnoPlanta says it's confronting a "Reign of Terror"! (item 1)

Some might think a more reasonable cause for concern were the over 2000 square meters of pharma crops due to be grown in Germany in the coming year. (item 2)

1.No Reign of Terror in Germany: InnoPlanta AGIL condemns field destruction in Badingen
- InnoPlanta AGIL Press Release August 1, 200. [shortened and via agbioview]

Gatersleben, Germany - In the Brandenburg region of Badingen, militant opponents of genetic engineering last weekend destroyed 150 square meters of a cultivated field. The field contained Bt-maize which was genetically improved to fight the European Corn Borer, a dangerous parasite which now strikes a quarter of all German maize acreage. The Innovative Farmers Working Group [Arbeitsgemeinschaft Innovative Landwirte] of InnoPlanta e.V. (InnoPlanta AGIL) condemns this destruction.

InnoPlanta AGIL welcomes the decision to file charges against 90 of the activists. In addition, those who had called for the destruction should be held accountable.

After the events on July 30, 2006, InnoPlanta AGIL spokesman Karl Friedrich Kaufmann said: "As part of our initiative 'No Reign of Terror in Germany,' we decided to confront the influx of 150 genetic engineering opponents. We were particularly pleased with the support of the leaders of AGIL, Dr. Christel Happach Kazan (MdB) and Professor Klaus-Dieter Jany.

2.Pharma crop field trials in Germany
Andreas Bauer

The first field trial involving pharma crops in Germany is being conducted this year. The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) authorized an application by the University of Rostock on June 14th.

In the trial, three different GM potatoe lines are used, which contain genes for different pharmaceutical or industrial compounds: Ø vp60 (viral protein 60 of rabbit haemorraghic disease virus, RHDV), Ø ctxB (B subunit cholera toxin of Vibrio cholerae), Ø PsbY-cyel (cyanophycin synthetase) of Thermosynechococus elongates (with chloroplast transit peptide from A. thaliana)

All transgenic lines contain the antibiotic resistance gene nptII (neomycin phosphotransferase II gene of E.coli) and the 35S promoter from Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV).

The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and environmental organizations like the NABU and the Munich Environmental Institute had rejected the trial and raised severe objections.

The trial is taking place in Groß Lüsewitz near Rostock (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) and will last until 2008. The maximum size of the trial is 2176 m2 in 2007.

The Munich Environmental Institute demands a halt to field trials and the commercialization of pharma crops in Europe.

More information in German: http://www.umweltinstitut.org/frames/allg/press/20060227.htm

Andreas Bauer
Dipl.-Agr.-Ing. (FH)
Abteilung Gentechnik
Telefon: 089 / 30 77 49 - 14
Umweltinstitut München e.V.
Landwehrstr.64 a
80336 München
Telefon 089 / 30 77 49 - 0
Fax 089 / 30 77 49 - 20

Go to a Print friendly Page

Email this Article to a Friend

Back to the Archive