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Checkbiotech: The experimental cultivation of transgenic corn is being extended
Posted by: DR. RAUPP ; madora (IP Logged)
Date: June 02, 2005 07:44AM ; ;

One thousand hectares of experimental fields are registered this year
throughout Germany. In the Northeast of Germany, there are about 210
hectares all together, June 2005 by Elke Ehlers -translated by Tea Jankovic,

Transgenic corn is being cultivated in seven locations in
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany this year. Karl Otto Kreer, the Secretary of
State in the Schwerin Agricultural Ministry disclosed this information at
AgroBioTechnikum Gross Luesewitz close to Rostock, Germany.

Additionally, three villages will have released experiments with transgenic
potatoes and, on another field, with genetically modified rapeseed.

In 2004, transgenic corn was being cultivated for the first time under
scientific supervision in two locations in the Northeast parts of Germany.
The so-called Bt-corn was infused with the gene of a bacterium that kills
the European corn borer, an insect pest.

?This corn is not poisonous to people, nor to other insects,? stresses
Professor Inge Broer from the Association for the Advancement of Innovative
and Effective Agricultural Technology, who presented the results from the
experimental fields. In total, 29 locations with about 300 hectares were
included in the tests Germany-wide.

The scientists examined, among other things, if genetic exchange occurred
between engineered corn plants and native, non-transgenic corn plants on a
neighboring field.

According to Prof. Broer, hybridization was detectable only in plants that
were in the immediate proximity of experimental fields. The cross breeding
of transgenic organisms with traditional sorts is allowed up to a threshold
of 0.9 percent.

?The limit was crossed within a width of ten meters,? reported Prof. Broer,
who is also an employee of the Rostock University. For this reason, a buffer
zone longer than ten meters is required to separate Bt-corn from the
conventional kind.

?The test results show that co-existence is possible between conventional
agriculture and genetic engineering,? summarized Secretary of State Kreer.

To make further statements possible on this matter, the experimentation is
to continue during the year 2005. According to InnoPlanta of Sachsen-Anhalt,
an association included in the scientific supervision, a thousand hectares
Germany-wide are planned for this purpose.

In the Northeast, locations of Germany such as, Gross Luesewitz and Ramin,
are included as they were last year. Other locations? test results are
published on the internet.

Farmer Bruno Raschke, a member of the agricultural concern Petschow and the
owner of a farm neighboring the experimental fields in Luesewitz, knows all
about this.

?We don?t have a problem with it. If the safety distance of more than ten
meters is respected, nothing can happen,? he is convinced.

Raschke is open minded towards green biotechnology. ?It is better than
spraying more pesticide against pests. Plus, transgenic corn is being
cultivated so much all over the world, we cannot do anything about it

For years a US company was selling a forbidden variety of transgenic corn in
Europe, which caused antibiotic resistance. This was an issue of secondary
importance at yesterday?s event. It was ?an unacceptable mistake,? admitted
Secretary of State Kreer.

?As consumers, we are not protected against exposure to genetic
engineering,? criticized Maren Fritsche from Guestrow, skeptical towards
the new technology.

Kreer countered this by adding, ?That is exactly why we are doing these
experiments: to find out how to handle transgenic plants so that they do not
harm anyone.?

Info: Results from the tests can be found at, list of
experimental locations at .


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