Seed World

Status Germany

Despite being a major consumer of genetically engineered products, there is little prospect of developing a German market for GE crops or foods, according to the latest Global Agricultural Information Network report for Germany. 
The report, produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Services, states: that public rejection of GE crops is widespread; there is no commercial GE crop in production; the government has banned planting of EU-approved GE crops; and no foods labeled as GE are sold in Germany.
Germany is the most populous and economically powerful country in the European Union. It is quite influential in agricultural policy, both within the EU and globally. And Germans are usually willing to innovate and be open to new technology, but agriculture biotechnology occupies a unique political space, according to the report’s summary. The report notes that German society remains conflicted about agricultural biotechnology and this is reflected in mixed government policies.
Public rejection of genetically engineered crops is widespread. Polling shows German public opposition to GE foods has run steadily in the 80 percent range, and that there is a high degree of familiarity with the issue. For nearly a generation, German environmental and consumer activists have protested against the use of biotechnology in agriculture, both in Germany and globally.
In the current environment, other than the existing feed market for soybean, there is little prospect of developing a German market for GE crops.
Despite these findings, Germany is home to world-class companies that develop and supply GE seeds globally. The report also mentioned that world-class developers of GE crops from Germany, which includes Bayer CropScience, BASF and KWS, are moving their biotech research centers to the United States. Source: USDA-FAS.