Statement by BIO Deutschland on the Review of the Law on Genetic Engineering by the Federal Constitutional Court

At the start of the review of the German Law on Genetic Engineering by the Federal Constitutional Court on 23 June, BIO Deutschland called for a radical rethinking of the approach to plant biotechnology. At a presentation to students in Berlin during the Initiative for Sustainable Development, Viola Bronsema, Managing Director of BIO Deutschland, said, “only policies that promote innovations and provide legal certainty will allow German companies working on genetically enhanced plants to participate in global competition.”

When the Law on Genetic Engineering was first drafted, BIO Deutschland called for it to be applied in the interest of innovations and economic diversity. Bronsema underlined that “if this future-oriented technology continues to be impeded by impractical and unclear regulations in this country, then Germany will be at risk of losing its leading global position.” She pointed out that the more complex the regulations are, the more difficult it is in particular for local companies and especially for smaller firms to survive on the international market.

BIO Deutschland is also campaigning for freedom of choice. New plants and their products that have been checked for safety in accordance with scientific criteria should be made available to everyone. Genetically enhanced plant types have been cultivated in large quantities worldwide for over 25 years and are already of benefit to several million people. “The use of biotechnology in agriculture is not only responsible for significant increases in yields, but is also already making a significant contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions and the amount of pesticides used,” Bronsema explained.

The review of the Law on Genetic Engineering by the Federal Constitutional Court follows an application by the State Government of Saxony-Anhalt, which regards the law as unconstitutional. It is expected that the verdict by the Federal Constitutional Court will only be announced in three months’ time.

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