[DE] SPD and CDU/CSU Debate Agri-Biotechnology

The ruling German government parties, SPD and CDU/CSU, disagree on details of a planned amendment to the Gene Technology Act. Vice president of the SPD faction, Ulrich Kelber, demands changes to key points presented in a CDU paper, and states that "current agri-biotechnology is of little value for society“.

In an interview with the news magazine "Focus“, Kelber further criticised plans of his coalition partner, CDU/CSU, on significant issues concerning agri-biotechnology. For example, the CDU proposal for an amendment to the Gene Technology Act would require isolation distances of only 150 metres between GM and non-GM maize, while the Social Democrats consider distances of 300 metres necessary to ensure co-existence of agricultural systems using GM and non-GM crops.

Describing measures to strengthen regional markets, Kelber also said that he would like to see Germany and Austria form an alliance which could press Brussels for legislation permitting the establishment of GM-free zones on a communal basis.

Appearing in the same issue of "Focus“, the CDU agricultural expert Julia Klöckner called the SPD claims "unscientific“ and suggested that such claims were "intended to unsettle consumers.“


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