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GM Contamination Register
Incident details
Region/Continent and country:
Europe / Germany
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What was contaminated:
GM organism involved:
Oilseed rape/canola
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Route of contamination

USDA GAIN Report - Biotech Traces in German Rapeseed Seeds

Germany - At least 1500 ha planted with GM contaminated rapeseed

German authorities have found genetically modified rapeseed in conventional crops. A spokesperson for the environmental minister of North Rhine-Westphalia stated that consignments from the company Deutsche Saatgutveredlung contained seeds tolerant to the herbicide glufosinate. Glufosinate is sold by the German company Bayer Crop Science under the trademarks LIBERTY and BASTA. About 1500 hectares have already been planted with the genetically modified crops. The origin of the contamination is unclear.

The German authorities have ruled for the plants to be destroyed as no GM oilseed rape is approved for commercial cultivation in the EU.

Jan Pehrke from the Coalition against Bayer Dangers comments: "Neither seed merchants nor farmers are responsible for this mess. Bayer must take responsibility for the organisms it created and must pay for the damage." Bayer is the world market leader for pesticides. The company sells a variety of crops resistant to glufosinate, including rice, cotton, corn and soybeans. "The incident shows that risks linked with modified crops cannot be controlled in the long term", Pehrke continues. "We call for a stringent application of the precautionary principle. Contamination will continue to spread unless strict controls are enforced and zero contamination of seed is the norm."

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Further information

Press Release Rapeseed: GM Contamination Scandal in Germany - Coalition against Bayer Dangers (18th September 2007) >

Keine Bekanntgabe der Flächen mit gentechnisch verunreinigter Rapssaat (18.10.2007 Schleswig-Holstein) >

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