European corn borer larva. Image credit:excerpted from photo by Marlin Rice, Iowa State University
The European Union has long allowed the commercial planting of genetically modified crop seeds (regulatory details available here). However, Germany, according to a report in Spiegel Online, has specifically banned sale or planting, for the 2009 planting season, of the Monsanto corn variety called "MON 810" a.k.a. " Yieldgard®," on environmental grounds. Ironically, this GM corn variety was developed in the USA to be resistant to the European Corn Borer (pictured).
Under the new regulations, the cultivation of MON 810, a GM corn produced by the American biotech giant Monsanto, will be prohibited in Germany, as will the sale of its seed. Aigner told reporters Tuesday she had legitimate reasons to believe that MON 810 posed "a danger to the environment," a position which she said the Environment Ministry also supported. In taking the step, Aigner is taking advantage of a clause in EU law which allows individual countries to impose such bans. True to form, there is talk of legal action challenging the ban.
So...what do we have here: Anti-Americanism; a Luddite knee-jerk reaction; or, Risk Management under the precautionary principle?
Additional posts on Monsanto corn.
Monsanto "Seedless" Corn Sold To South African Farmers
Saying No To Genetically Modified Foods In Japan
Out, Monsanto! No GMOs in National Wildlife Refuge, Says Federal ...