GMO news related to Germany

27.04.2015 |

EU Commission approves 19 genetically engineered plants for import - Testbiotech to file a complaint

Never before has the EU Commission authorised so many genetically engineered plants for import on just one day. Last Friday, 19 genetically plants were granted market authorisation, 17 for usage in food and feed, and 2 are for flowers (carnations). 10 of the plants approved for food and feed are new authorisations, the others are re-approvals. The overall number of genetically engineered plants that can be imported into the EU for use in food and feed has now risen to 58. Testbiotech plans to file a complaint to set a precedent case.

“The risks of the genetically engineered plants are not investigated sufficiently and the combinatorial risks factors of these plants if mixed in a diet have not been assessed at all,” says Christoph Then for Testbiotech. “Neglecting to properly assess the risks of genetically engineered plants coupled with mass-authorisation is increasing risks and uncertainties in the food chain.”

Experts from several EU Member States have also criticised the deficiencies in EU risk assessment carried out by the by European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). However, the EU Commission ignored this criticism in its decision making process. Instead, it is suggesting new regulations that would allow each Member State to ban the import of genetically engineered plants. They would not, however, be allowed to use arguments such as health risks to justify their decision. Consequently, it would be almost impossible to defend such national bans against legal challenges.

There are substantial uncertainties about the risk assessment of these plants.

20.03.2015 |

Greenpeace Guidebook_Food without genetic engineering
Greenpeace Guidebook_Food without genetic engineering

German government quarrels over GMO cultivation ban

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.

02.03.2015 |

German states want nationwide ban on genetically engineered plants

Berlin (dpa) - The majority of Germany‘s 16 federal states would like a nationwide ban on the cultivation of genetically modified organisms, according to a survey carried out by dpa and published on Saturday.

If there is no nationwide ban, than some of the states will implement their own bans, the survey of the various state agriculture ministries found.

"We can‘t have a patchwork in Germany, so the federal government has to enact a ban," the agriculture minister for the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, Robert Habeck, told dpa.

02.03.2015 |

Coming out on top with TTIP - GMO, hormone-treated meat, chlorine-treated chickens

Interview with EU commissioner-designate for trade

The "Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership" (TTIP) between the EU and US will set the standard for the 21st century. With approximately 800 million consumers, it is expected to build the largest economy in the world by eliminating tariffs and trade barriers as well as lifting bureaucratic obstacles vanish.

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is negotiating TTIP terms on behalf of the 28 EU countries with the United States. In an exclusive interview with the "Luxemburger Wort" she highlights the benefits of this pact along with the fears and concerns of consumers.

(.....) Chlorine chicken became a symbol of TTIP. Will it end up on the plates of European consumers?

No, that's a myth. In Europe, we have high standards of consumer protection that will not be compromised by a trade agreement. Genetically modified foods are not allowed in Europe, hormone-treated meat is also taboo here, and chlorine-treated chickens are prohibited.

19.01.2015 |

We are fed up! 50000 people demo
We are fed up! 50000 people demo

We are fed up!: 50,000 march against TTIP & GMOs in Berlin

A broad alliance of farmers, ethical consumers, and anti-capitalist activists staged a march through Berlin that numbered up to 50,000, to denounce the proposed TTIP treaty between the US and EU, and mass farming technologies.

More than 120 organizations joined the fifth annual ‘We are Fed Up!’ demonstration, which this year focused on the increased importation of American farming practices – such as genetic modification, frequent antibiotic injections for animals, and chemical meat treatments – following the implementation of the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

(.....) Speaking at one of the Green Week events, Federal Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt promised to address the issues raised by the demonstrators, and said that he welcomed the public display of opinion.

15.01.2015 |

German Environment Ministry seeks unconditional GMO ban

Germany’s Environment Ministry is hoping for a complete ban on green genetic engineering, but a Green party assessment warns that upcoming free trade agreements like TTIP and CETA could still bring genetically modified plants to the European market. EurActiv Germany reports.

After the European Parliament on Tuesday (13 January passed a new Directive on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in Europe, the German Environment Ministry is insisting on a complete ban on green genetic engineering in Germany.

It is very important that a political agreement be reached to generally apply the exclusion clause to Germany, emphasised State Secretary on Environment Jochen Flasbarth on Tuesday (13 January) in Berlin.

08.12.2014 |

The largest German poultry brand returns to GMO-Free feed

German Poultry Industry Giant Returns to GMO-Free Production

Wiesenhof, the largest German poultry producer, has announced that it will turn back to using GM-free animal feed due to consumer demand. Wiesenhof’s U-turn comes just 10 months after the German Poultry Association (ZDG) unilaterally declared that it was stopping using GM-free animal feed, following similar moves by other associations in England and Denmark. The reasons provided for the step after over a decade of GMO-free feeding were an alleged shortage of GMO-free soya, the risk of contamination, and the associated legal uncertainty. Wiesenhof confirmed on Friday that they will soon be in a position to supply GM-Free fed poultry again, as this is what is “desired by customers”.

Alexander Hissting of VLOG (Association Food without Genetic Engineering) told Spiegel; “We expect an almost complete return of the poultry meat industry to GMO -free production in the coming months.”

Wiesenhof’s decision is a direct result of pressure from the top German supermarkets. In late August the supermarkets, with a broad consensus, demanded the German Poultry Association (ZDG) to stop using GMO feed for both egg and poultry meat production, starting from January 1st 2015.

03.11.2014 |

Edeka Ohne Gentechnik
Hähnchenfleisch mit 'Ohne Gentechnik'-Siegel (Foto: Edeka)

Germany: Edeka leads first own-brand with label

Start with GOOD & CHEAP chicken products at regional level Label "GMO-Free" provides clear guidance for consumers Edeka Center is a partner of the federation "foods without genetic engineering"Hamburg, 11.03.2014. Edeka has introduced the first own-brand with the label "GMO-Free". Various chicken products with private label GOOD & CHEAP since October are available in many markets in the southwest and southeast of Germany. The GOOD & CHEAP chicken products are currently sold in the regions of Southwest (Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland Palatinate, Saarland and parts of Hesse), and in northern Bavaria, Saxony and Thuringia.

10.10.2014 |

Renewed concern over new risk assessment of glyphosate

Report by German authorities on the most commonly used herbicide criticised as inadequate

Friday, 10. October 2014

In a report published today, Testbiotech is highlighting the ongoing inadequacies in the risk assessment of the herbicide, glyphosate. The weed killer is sold under brand names such as Roundup. At the beginning of this year, German authorities published a Renewal Assessment Report (RAR) as part of an EU reevaluation process for the most widely used weed killer. According to the German authorities, there were no risks to health, and it was even suggested that the acceptable daily thresholds for long term exposure (ADI) to which consumers could be exposed might be raised.

In contrast to these findings, the Testbiotech analysis shows that the German assessment report is untenable in light of new scientific evidence and cites evidence from studies published in 2013 and 2014. Testbiotech concluded that risks associated with glyphosate must be examined much more closely than has been the case so far.

09.10.2014 |

Save the date: 6-8 May 2015 Berlin - GMO Free Regions 2015

First announcement, save the date!

GMO Free Regions 2015 - Governments, Business, Scientists and Civil Society gather in Berlin

Ten years after the first European GMO Free Regions conference took place in Berlin over 60 regional governments and hundreds of companies and their associations, science groups and civil society organizations will meet on May 6-8 2015 again.

It is certainly time to celebrate enormous successes – With more than 60 regional governments within Europe united as Network of GMO Free Regions, hundreds of additional subregional entities and municipalities, farmers declared GMO Free areas and thousands of enterprises guaranteeing their products to be free of genetically modified ingredients, including also animal products, this movement has really changed the markets and the policies within the European Union and well beyond. GMO Free Regions have now been established and declared on all continents of the world, and their numbers are growing.

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