GM jobs myth unmasked / FoE Biotech Mailout (1/8/2006)

1.Latest FOE Biotech Mailout
2.GM jobs myth unmasked

A new study shows there are less than 500 Jobs in plant genetic engineering in Germany. Think how many industries are more significant employers than that! Yet how many of them enjoy the political support and massive public subsidy that has often been poured into this loss-making industry?

FOE Biotech Mailout - Quarterly Magazine

Dear all

We are pleased to announce that the latest edition of the Friends of the Earth Biotech Mailout is now online. To find out what is happening on the GMO issue in and around Europe then please click here:

- EU Biotech strategy - mid term review turns into mid-life crisis
- The 'Biotechnology for Europe' study
- Austrian region of Styria adopts landmark GMO law
- Still no decision for EU wide law on contamination and liability
- Romania- GM soya to be banned, but is that enough?
- Hidden Uncertainties Secret WTO papers outline safety concerns
- Europe's Food Safety Authority comes under fire
- GM food - no thanks!
- GMOs equals jobs myth unmasked
- GMO-free movement grows stronger in Eastern Europe

Happy reading!

GMOs equals jobs myth unmasked
Less than 500 Jobs in Plant Genetic Engineering in Germany
from FOE Biotech Mailout July 06

According to a new study, commissioned by Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), no more than 500 people are employed in the plant genetic engineering sector in Germany. The study, carried out by Thorsten Helmerichs and Daniel Grundke of the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Corporate Chair of Management, further stated that an increase is highly unlikely. This finding is in sharp contrast to assertions by politicians, agro-biotech companies, scientists and biotech lobby groups, that plant genetic engineering creates thousands of jobs.

The study focussed on jobs in the research and development of genetically modified (GM) plants in the private sector. State sponsored research in universities and institutes was excluded on the grounds that massive investment of public money invalidates the 'job machine' claim.

One of the most surprising findings was that reliable data was hard to obtain. The few existing studies in the field do not distinguish between biotechnology in general and the different sectors within (green, white, red biotechnology) and hence are worthless.

To gain a reliable dataset, the authors asked 70 companies from the sector for comments on their actual employees as well as future prospects. Although anonymity was granted, only 20 per cent replied. It is particularly significant that global players, like KWS and BASF, were not willing to present concrete data.

The authors can confirm only 40 jobs - far less than the '500 jobs' cited - in a study that is a well-informed projection, based on existing studies of the total number of jobs within German seed companies, as well as on expert interviews. Due to the ongoing concentration process it does not seem likely that the number of jobs in the field will increase in the foreseeable future.


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