Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt hopes to create a legislative framework that would cover cultivation bans on genetically modified plants, but leave them up to the regions. Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, meanwhile, is insisting on a national GMO ban. EurActiv Germany reports.
Barbara Hendricks has rejected a draft bill from Christian Schmidt for regional cultivation bans on genetically modified plants.
The bill is just an initial working draft, Hendricks said on Monday (16 March), in a statement to ZDF.
“It will still be voted on by the federal government,” she said.
The Social Democrat is calling for a national ban on the cultivation of genetically modified crops. This is important, she said, to achieve legal certainty. “If we have a fragmented cultivation ban, we would have an incredibly high amount of legal disputes,” Hendricks pointed out.
>>Read: German Environment Ministry seeks unconditional GMO ban
Like Schmidt, Ulrike Scharf also hails from the conservative Christian Social Union, but she does not support the Agriculture Minister’s plans, warning against a “patchwork” result. Instead, the Bavarian Environment Minister supports a uniform ban on cultivation, she told “WISO”.
Saxony’s Environment Minister Thomas Schmidt also called for a national regulation. A cultivation ban must be legally justified, he said. “And that cannot be worked out by each region individually,” the Saxonian politician argued. Only with a national regulation, he contended, would the administrative burden and the risk be manageable.
For the time being, German Agriculture Minister Schmidt’s draft for a ban on agricultural use of GM plants is up for consultation with the other ministries. Consultation with regions and associations is intended to proceed as quickly as possible. The goal is to move forward with the legislative procedure, so that the possibility for a so-called opt-out can take effect this fall.