Statement by BIO Deutschland on the Coexistence Regulations for New Types of Starch Potatoes
In mid-January 2008, the German Federal Ministry of Agriculture asked BIO Deutschland and other plant biotechnology lobby groups for statements on the subject of coexistence regulations for potatoes.
BIO Deutschland’s standpoint was that the coexistence regulations involved in the amendments to the Law on Genetic Engineering should meet the aim of the EU Regulation EG 1829/2003, that is, the mixing of GM potatoes with non-GM products should be kept below the threshold value of 0.9%. In addition, BIO Deutschland argued that a good working practice for potato farming should take both current scientific knowledge into account as well as the fact that potatoes tend to self-fertilise and also do not have any natural outcrossing transfer partners.
In this context, Dr Viola Bronsema, Managing Director of BIO Deutschland, called for the amendment to the Genetic Engineering Law to bear in mind the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises and of research. She pointed out that many aspects, which primarily target large concerns, actually affect small companies, research institutes and farmers. Dr Bronsema added that legal certainty and the guarantee of economic diversity should be the focus of the current discussions.