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Federal Minister Schmidt: "This decision represents a step on the way to national bans on the cultivation of genetically modified plants"

The Federal Government decided strongly in favour of the possibility of imposing bans on the cultivation of genetically modified plants in Germany.

In Luxembourg the Federal Government agreed to the proposal by the Greek Council Presidency, under which in future each Member State will decide itself whether it permits the cultivation of genetically modified plants in its fields.

There is now a broad political consensus for the Federal Government's decision, which was drawn up under the direction of Federal Minister of Agriculture Christian Schmidt: The German Bundestag has passed a motion for a resolution to this effect.

"We said in the coalition agreement that we took the doubts held by the majority of the population about green genetic engineering seriously. We have today managed to regulate the issuing of bans on the cultivation of genetically modified plants on our fields," said the Federal Agriculture Minister. He praised Germany's approval of the opt-out procedure as an important decision for the right to self-determination and the freedom of choice in respect of green genetic engineering. "I will do everything I can to ensure a rapid trilogue procedure, as I would like to submit a national draft Act as soon as possible," said Federal Minister Schmidt.

The procedure provides that the Commission informs a manufacturer of genetically modified plants about the Member States' decision to introduce a ban on cultivation. Either the manufacturer then complies with this stipulation and removes the respective area from the application for authorisation or the Member State then imposes the ban on cultivation in accordance with the rules laid down in the directive. "That is not negotiating with companies; that is an act of state. We now have clear rules for everyone in Europe," said Schmidt.

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