Germany moves to ban GM crops – follows Scotland’s lead

The German minister for agriculture Christian Schmidt has signalled that he wants to push ahead with plans to ban the growing of genetically modified (GM) crops in Germany.

The minister has written to regional governments across Germany to tell them of his plans, according to Reuters.

The move comes months after the EU rules that individual countries could decide themselves if they would allow or ban GM crops in their own countries.

Scotland has already said it will ban the growing of GM crops. It became the first European country to opt out of bloc-wide approval of GM licence cultivation earlier this month.

It said that opting out would allow the country to keep its “clean and green brand” and protect the reputation of its food and drink sector.

Richard Lochhead – Scotland’s rural affairs secretary – said he plans to take advantage of new EU rules allowing countries to opt out of growing EU-authorised GM crops. The Scottish government is expected to submit its proposal shortly.

Under the new EU rules, countries have until October 3, 2015, to inform the European Commission whether they will opt out of new GM cultivation approvals. The European Commission has said that growing GM crops is safe, but would leave the decision to individual countries on whether to allow the growing of them or no in countries.