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Germany

Bundestag Passes Stringent Law on Genetically Modified Crops

The German parliament, led by the Social Democratic and Green parties, passed a new law on Friday strictly regulating the growth of genetically modified crops. The law limits the area where genetically-modified plants can be grown in Germany and also calls for a national register to keep tabs on all GM crops. Farmers planting GM seeds will be required to adhere to strict regulations, including the requirement that a minimum distance be kept from non-GM fields and to take measures to prevent the spread of pollen from GM plants. "In the interest of farmers and consumers, we do not want genetically altered foods to sneak uncontrolled and initially unnoticed onto our grocery shelves," said Herta Däubler-Gmelin, a parliamentarian from the SPD. The law also makes farmers liable for damages if their GM crops contaminate neighboring farms. Conservative opposition politicians and agriculture lobbies argue that the restrictions will make it extremely difficult for any farmers to grow GM crops.

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