Official report warns of risks of GM - Germany
Thanks to Paul Davis for translating this press release from the Federal Office of Nature Conservation, part of the German Ministry of the Environment, who have issued a detailed report which warns about the risks GM in agriculture - referred to as "green genetic engineering".
Bonn: Federal Office for nature conservation warns about risks "of green genetic engineering"
Bonn - As the "Green Week" in Berlin approaches, The Federal Office for Nature Conservation (BfN) in Bonn has published a position paper "World food, biodiversity and genetic engineering". BfN President Professor Dr. Beate Jessel pleaded that from an ecological and nature conservation viewpoint. greater restraint was needed.
With the dramatic rise in food prices worldwide in 2008 the discussion about adequate and lasting ways of agricultural production has received a new impetus. Increasing extremes of weather create more and more difficult conditions under which yields must be increased. At the same time agriculture stands before new demands, e.g the requirement for a distinct contribution to energy production and with it the reduction of greenhouse gases. To achieve these aims, the use of transgenic plants is demanded by interested parties as an essential contribution to increased yields and with it protection of the world food.
With the question: "Can agro-genetic engineering contribute to the physical acceptability and lasting protection of world food?". The position paper of the BfN considers to what extent the use of transgenic plants can contribute and what risks are involved in terms of nature conservation. Furthermore alternative solutions, which are nature freindly, increase long-term yields and security, are considered.
According to the president of the BfN, Prof. Dr. Beate Jessel, "The cultivation of transgenic plants is highly controversial and sustainable use has not yet been proven. Alternative acceptable solutions are already widely. Support for them must be promoted in research, education and politics."
The BfN supports the search for ecologically and socially acceptable solutions and the promotion of environmentally friendly methods already available, which are sustainable, secure and increase yields, for example "smart breeding". "Then the yield of a variety is steered by many genes. It depends on a complex of local conditions, such as ground and climate, and is not achievable with the transfer of some genetic sequences. Other breeding methods promise not only less risk but also cheaper solutions."
The position paper of the BfN "World food, biodiversity and genetic engineering" is available at www.bfn.de.