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
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”.