Germany has banned the only type of genetically-modified crop grown there, the highly insect-resistant MON 810 maize. Germany is the sixth EU country to introduce a provisional ban on the US biotech corn, after France, Austria, Hungary, Luxembourg and Greece.
Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner said a “rigorous study to weigh the pros and cons,” had revealed “new scientific elements”, justifying the decision. Aigner said: “The many open questions regarding the only genetically modified organism currently legal in Europe make clear the necessity for more stringent research.” German environmental groups welcomed the announcement. The cultivation of genetically modified crops has long divided the 27-member EU, but, failing unity, the European Commission has the power to authorise GMOs Europe-wide, and argues that moratoria are not scientifically justified. So the bans face action from the Commission to get them lifted. It said it would analyse Germany’s ban before taking appropriate steps, but EU diplomats say this is likely to be only after the European elections.