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Berlin bans genetically modified crops

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Berlin bans genetically modified crops
Greenpeace activists test MON 810. Photo: DPA
11:39 CEST+02:00
Germany has banned a controversial strain of genetically modified corn, marking the end of GM crops in the country, Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner said on Tuesday.

“I have come to the conclusion there are just reasons to assume that the genetically-modified maize MON 810 represents a danger for the environment,” Aigner said, adding that the government had made its decision based on rigorous study. “Therefore, the cultivation of MON 810 is now banned in Germany.”

The strain in question is “MON 810” from US biotechnology firm Monsanto. Ecological concerns have already spurred six other European nations to ban the corn, but it was still legal in Germany. Farmers and environmental groups who opposed the corn said that Monsanto's safety testing practices were questionable and that the corn's resistance to insects harmed other organisms.

Aigner – a member of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria where GM crops are intensely unpopular –was encouraged by many of her party members to go through with the ban.

Meanwhile Monsanto spokesperson Andreas Thierfelder said the company would review possibilities to appeal the ban, adding that the company stands to lose millions if the corn can't be planted this spring.

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