Germany to ban genetically modified maize
Berlin - Germany has decided to ban genetically modified maize, Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner announced Tuesday. The decision affects MON 810 seeds produced by US agriculture giant Monsanto, which is the only genetically modified seed currently allowed on German soil.
Monsanto's seed was due to be planted on 3600 hectares of German farm land this year, predominantly in the east of the country.
MON 810 includes a gene which protects it against a pest, the European corn borer butterfly. The seed has been approved for commercial use in the European Union since 1998.
Aigner had reviewed critical studies on the environmental consequences of planting the seed, as well as drawing on a report by Monsanto which had declared their product safe.
Some EU countries have already banned Monsanto's genetically modified seeds over safety concerns.
The ban comes in the wake of political pressure from Bavaria in particular, where Aigner's Christian Social Union (CSU) is based.
Germany's Green and Left party have long called for a ban, alongside environmental campaign groups. (dpa)