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Limit values: Hidden genetic engineering in seeds endangers plant breeding

Organic breeders and multipliers of the interest group for GMO-free seed work (IG Saatgut) commissioned an investigation of the risks of GMO limit values ​​for non-approved GMOs in seeds. This shows that there are considerable gaps in the implementation of the legally prescribed zero tolerance for GMOs in seeds. GM-free seed producers must take precautions at their own expense in all phases of seed production to protect their seeds from being GMO-free. The planned approval of low levels of contamination (LLP = Low Level Presence) would jeopardize the production of GMO-free seeds, as there is always a risk of contamination.

“It is to be expected that more GMO-containing seed lots will then pass follow-up controls and be sown. Any area with species that can be crossed would then represent an additional risk for farmers and breeders. The effort to protect against GMO contamination would increase significantly and there would still be no real security, ”criticizes Gebhard Rossmanith, CEO of Bingenheimer Saatgut AG. Contamination cases would increase, an existential risk for breeders and multipliers, especially smaller farms. However, especially with organic vegetables, many smaller growers ensured diversity.

The board of directors of the Demeter Association, Stephan Illi, calls on politicians to finally enforce the polluter pays principle in agrochemical technology: “It is not acceptable for breeders and producers to take precautions against unauthorized genetic engineering, or by the costs for Public control authorities. Anyone who brings genetic engineering into the world has to share in the additional costs of GMO-free production. ”The biodynamic Demeter vegetable and grain growers are pioneers in organic breeding. Demeter manufacturers can refer to the biodynamic breeding of their raw materials in their product claims, so that consumers can choose.

The breeders and seed suppliers united in the IG Saatgut are calling for further urgent improvements: a strictly implemented zero tolerance for approved and non-approved GMOs in seeds with effective controls before sowing. You are in favor of a moratorium on the cultivation of GMOs and the stop of further approvals of GMOs. The report "Secure seeds, prevent threshold values" is available on the IG Saatgut website: