Co-existence characteristics of genetically modified maize were analysed at five sites in different regions of Germany during the Erprobungsanbau 2005 („test cultivations“). Accompanying research was coordinated at the University of Rostock. The first results are now available.
Dr. Inge Broer, University of Rostock
One result of the test cultivations is that GMO shares of more than 0.9 percent were found in conventionally grown maize, if wind conditions were unfavourable and the distance between the genetically modified and the conventional maize measured between 20 and 30 metres. Professor Inge Broer, leader of the accompanying scientific research of the Erprobungsanbau, explains the result with a „strong wind effect“. The results were evaluated separately for each direction. „If we could have averaged the results, the values would have remained below 0.9 percent for all directions as in 2004“, says Broer. She considers the sampling method to be a further reason for the result. In 2004, samples were taken from the harvest; last year, selected plants from selected rows were analysed. „This leads to border effects, which again increase the measured values“, explains the scientist.
Additionally, analysis was carried out on the influences of size and of usage of the areas between conventional and genetically modified maize parcels on out-crossings. In conventional maize experiments with pollen barriers of 25 metres, all cross breeding remained below 0.9 percent. Based on these results, Professor Broer considers a distance of 50 metres between conventional and GM maize sufficient, if the separating pollen barrier is harvested and processed together with the genetically modified maize.
Information about the „Erprobungsanbau“ is available in German language at TransGen.