BERLIN, Germany, July 5, 2004 -- CropChoice news -- AFP:
The refusal of German insurers to underwrite insurance
for farmers planting biotech seed may have brought Green
Biotechnology in Germany to an end. As the newspaper
Tagesspiegel reports, seed suppliers are not willing
to assume liability for possible damages caused by genetically
modified plants either.
A proposal in this direction by the German Farmers’
Association was turned down by Germany’s largest
seed supplier KWS Saat. According to opinions in the
industry, this means that no German farmer is likely
to use genetically modified seed in the foreseeable
Fearing unpredictable damages resulting from the contamination
of conventional or organic crops by gene plants, the
Association of the German Insurance Industry has refused
coverage for gene farmers.
As a consequence, the German Farmers’ Association
has demanded that suppliers of genetically modified
seed assume liability for possible damages and keep
farmers free of it. Since cross-contamination cannot
be avoided, “we will not run a risk”, says
KWS Saat spokesman Georg Folttmann. In light of the
stringent liability regulations in Germany “nobody
will plant genetically modified plants in Germany”.