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"The Biggest GM Crop Scandal in Germany to Date"
A genetically modified strain of maize classified as NK603 -- one that is explicitly banned in the European Union -- has been unleashed in Germany. The crop has been unwittingly planted on nearly 7,500 acres so far, and is continuing to spread. The source of the contamination has not yet been determined, but it is believed that it could cost farmers millions of euros to eradicate the tenacious GMO crop.The contamination has spread across 7 different states in Germany, contaminating fields unbeknown to the farmers tilling the land. Such affected farmers will have no choice but to plow their fields prematurely. Greenpeace operations in Europe helped uncover the GMO's spread. The BBC reports:
In the affected fields, up to 0.1% of the crop is contaminated with NK603 - equivalent to 100 contaminated plants per hectare, Greenpeace says.This news breaks right at a moment when the European Commission is recommending that the EU relax its strict rules on genetically modified foods like those pushed by Monsanto. This new development could potentially impact such plans. Agricultural expert Alexander Hissting said as much to the BBC: "This is the biggest GM crop scandal in Germany to date."
"Fields will have to be ploughed up before the maize blooms - it is still possible to halt the uncontrolled spread [of the GM variety]," Stefanie Becker, spokeswoman for Lower Saxony's Environment Ministry, told the BBC.
The GMO strain of maize is not dangerous to human health, but it could corrupt non-GMO strains through cross-pollination if not swiftly dealt with.