The German Farmers Union is calling for changes to the European genetic engineering law. This occurs in the run-up to the European Commission publishing a study on new breeding techniques such as Crispr-Cas.
The general secretary of the DBV, Bernhard Krosskin, looks with great concern at the current debate on breeding techniques. Our farmers urgently need new technologies to quickly obtain more resilient crops. This can also be used to counter the consequences of climate change and increased pest pressure.
We should listen more to science and argue less ideologically, says Crosskin. By using these technologies, our farmers can further reduce the use of pesticides. If a plant is able to protect itself from pests and diseases, it does not need chemical agents to protect crops.
In particular, improved disease-resistant varieties provide growers with great potential to reduce pesticide use without loss of yield and quality. Varieties also make an important contribution to protecting the environment. “However, given the current legal situation, these promising developments are not available to our farmers,” says Crosskin.
Therefore, the German Farmers Association is calling for a change in the European legislation on genetic engineering. As a result, genome-treated organisms, whose changes are indistinguishable from naturally occurring mutations that can also arise with conventional breeding methods, may be excluded from the scope of the legislation on genetic engineering.