German agricultural society (DLG) condemns destruction of GM maize

On the night of 19 May, numerous maize plots were destroyed on the site of the DLG Field Days exhibition in Buttelstedt near Weimar. The action was evidently meant to target genetically modified maize. As well as maize varieties from numerous German and foreign plant breeders, a small plot had been designated for the exhibition of MON810 Bt maize. The plots had been planted by the exhibitors taking part in the Field Days event, which the German Agricultural Society (DLG) is organising from 24 to 26 June at Thüringer Lehr-, Prüf- und Versuchsgut in Buttelstedt. On 8 May, Monsanto and Innoplanta e.V./Arbeitsgemeinschaft Innovativer Landwirte (AGIL) had sown genetically modified Bt maize for demonstration purposes on a plot measuring 240 square metres. The plot is listed in the public site register at the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL). All the legal requirements to be observed when cultivating genetically modified maize had been met.

In a press release, the DLG vehemently condemns the "wanton destruction", which it claims is unprecedented in the history of the DLG Field Days and which it sees as an attack on innovation in agriculture. "The DLG believes fundamentally in open-minded discussion with all groups interested in dialogue." Two guards were on duty on the night of 19 May, but because the tall oilseed rape and cereal crops partially block the view of the site, the perpetrators were not spotted in time. To enable the visitors to view the range of maize varieties, many of the exhibitors have already replanted their plots. The DLG Field Days are Germany’s largest and most important information exchange for modern crop growing. The event takes place every two years. Over the course of three days, 270 companies, associations and institutions from all over Germany and its neighbouring countries will find out about varieties and seed, about fertilizing and plant protection and about issues to do with modern crop growing.

The GMO Safety/biosicherheit team will have its own stand at the DLG Field Days to inform visitors about the latest research findings on the environmental safety of genetically modified crops. via GMO Safety.

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