GM crops banned in Switzerland until 2012
2.GERMANY - Battlefield: Bt maize
EXTRACT: According to the Council [the Swiss Federal Council, ie the Swiss government], the [GM] moratorium has not caused any obvious problems, either for the farming industry, researchers, or international relations. In fact, it claimed, Swiss farmers have benefited from being able to market their produce on international markets as GM-free. (item 1)
NOTE: Item 2 is from what seems to be yet another pro-GM portal - 'GMO Safety' - posing as a neutral info source in order to promote its agenda and attract public funding. Like 'GMO Compass' it seems to be run by the firm Genius which boasts a long list of clients with biotech interests, including Syngenta, BASF, Bayer, EuropaBio and the American Soybean Association. http://www.lifesciences.de/en/reference/customers.php
1.GM crops banned in Switzerland until 2012
Agra Europe, 29 May 2008
The Swiss Federal Council (government) has voted to extend the country's moratorium on genetically modified (GM) plants for a further three years beyond the current expiry date of November 2010, Dow Jones reports.
The extension is to allow time for a national research programme into the benefits and risks of GM crops to be completed and the results assessed. Questions over the biological safety of GM plants and the coexistence of GM, conventional and organic crops are being addressed.
The Council imposed a moratorium on the commercial cultivation of GM crops in 2005, on the basis that there was no demand for them in Switzerland at the time and that big gaps remained in scientific knowledge about the risks of this technology.
Shortly after that, the research programme was launched, and this is expected to reach a conclusion around the middle of 2012. However, the Council said last week that it must be allowed to take its course without political pressure.
According to the Council, the moratorium has not caused any obvious problems, either for the farming industry, researchers, or international relations. In fact, it claimed, Swiss farmers have benefited from being able to market their produce on international markets as GM-free.
2.Battlefield: Bt maize
DLG Field Days: Maize plots destroyed
On the night of 19 May, numerous maize plots were destroyed on the site of the DLG Field Days exhibition in Buttelstedt near Weimar. The action was evidently meant to target genetically modified maize. As well as maize varieties from numerous German and foreign plant breeders, a small plot had been designated for the exhibition of MON810 Bt maize.
The plots had been planted by the exhibitors taking part in the Field Days event, which the German Agricultural Society (DLG) is organising from 24 to 26 June at Thüringer Lehr-, Prüf- und Versuchsgut in Buttelstedt. On 8 May, Monsanto and Innoplanta e.V./Arbeitsgemeinschaft Innovativer Landwirte (AGIL) had sown genetically modified Bt maize for demonstration purposes on a plot measuring 240 square metres. The plot is listed in the public site register at the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL). All the legal requirements to be observed when cultivating genetically modified maize had been met.
In a press release, the DLG vehemently condemns the "wanton destruction", which it claims is unprecedented in the history of the DLG Field Days and which it sees as an attack on innovation in agriculture. "The DLG believes fundamentally in open-minded discussion with all groups interested in dialogue."
Two guards were on duty on the night of 19 May, but because the tall oilseed rape and cereal crops partially block the view of the site, the perpetrators were not spotted in time. To enable the visitors to view the range of maize varieties, many of the exhibitors have already replanted their plots.
The DLG Field Days are Germany’s largest and most important information exchange for modern crop growing. The event takes place every two years. Over the course of three days, 270 companies, associations and institutions from all over Germany and its neighbouring countries will find out about varieties and seed, about fertilizing and plant protection and about issues to do with modern crop growing.
The GMO Safety/biosicherheit team will have its own stand at the DLG Field Days to inform visitors about the latest research findings on the environmental safety of genetically modified crops.