The German Farmers’ Union calls for changes to the European law on genetic engineering. This takes place in the perspective of the publication by the European Commission of a study on new breeding techniques such as Crispr-Cas.
The general secretary of the German farmers’ association DBV, Bernhard Krüsken, is very concerned about the current discussion on breeding techniques. “Our farmers urgently need new techniques to quickly obtain more resilient crops. It can also be used to counter the consequences of climate change and increasing pest pressure ”.
We should listen to science more and argue less ideologically, says Krüsken. “With these techniques, our farmers can further reduce the use of pesticides. If a plant can protect itself against pests and diseases, it does not need chemical crop protection agents ”.
In particular, improved disease resistant varieties offer great potential for farmers to reduce pesticide use without loss of yield and quality. And varieties also make an important contribution to environmental protection. “But due to the existing legal situation, these promising developments are not available to our farmers,” says Krüsken.
The German farmers’ association therefore pleads for a modification of the European legislation on genetic engineering. As a result, genome-processed organisms, whose changes cannot be distinguished from natural mutations and which can also occur with conventional breeding methods, may be excluded from the scope of genetic engineering legislation.