Germany’s cabinet just approved a draft law which bans the cultivation of genetically modified crops within their borders.
As part of a directive passed by the European Parliament in April 2015 giving Member States (MS) freedom to decide for themselves whether or not to cultivate GMOs in their territory, Germany will become one of a number of states to say ‘NO GMO.’
Other countries who have bans in place or are working to establish them include:
Part of Belgium
Germany’s GM ban is significant considering that biotech industry representatives have been trying to keep their stranglehold on the genetically modified crop market in the country.
The news will likely not be taken well by DuPont Pioneer and Dow Chemical, who have been waiting for an EU executive permit for GMO cultivation in Germany and other EU countries for nearly 15 years.
Likewise, Monsanto has criticized other member states for using their ‘opt-out’ vote to ban GMOs from their countries, stating that their decisions “contradict science.”
It was just over six years ago that another EU country, Hungary, strongly enforced their GM ban by destroying 1,000 acres of GM maize that had been found growing illegally. The Hungarians were the very first to take a forceful position in the European Union in relation to the use of transgenic seeds.
Germany’s GMO ban is doubly important due to the planned merger between the Germany-based Bayer, and U.S.-based Monsanto. With ChemChina-Syngenta and DuPont-Dow Chemical forming their own multi-billion-dollar mergers, consumers and farmers still have a way to refuse genetically modified crops as they are increasingly incorporated into international treaties and trade agreements.
As agricultural companies continue to consolidate, becoming larger and larger entities with greater capacity to lobby governments in their favor of monopolizing seed markets, the German opt-out sends a clear message to the makers of these seeds. They can grow bloated and powerful but in the end, the people will decide what they eat.
Bill and Melinda Gates try to convince an EU country to embrace GMOs:
Image credit: Common Dreams