A strong signal upwards: No agro-genetic technology in the district of Miesbach
Created: 01/08/2023 08:47
By: Dieter Dorby
View through the stereo microscope: In the laboratory, the genome of plants can be modified using the CRISPR/Cas method.
© Gregor Fischer/dpa
The district of Miesbach unanimously renewed its resolutions of 2008 and 2010 to reject genetic engineering and included so-called genome editing.
This includes all methods of artificial genetic modification of plants and seeds.
District – The decision was suggested by the civil courage alliance.
In a letter to the factions of the district council, the farmers referred to the Bavarian-wide pioneering role that the district of Miesbach plays when it comes to agricultural genetic engineering.
However, the previous consensus on a genetic engineering-free Bavaria and Germany is now endangered by the plans of the EU Commission.
The aim is to overturn the judgment of the European Court of Justice of July 25, 2018, so that new genetic engineering processes such as the CRISPR/Cas method are no longer judged according to the applicable genetic engineering law.
With this protein system, genes can be inserted, removed or switched off.
The previously strict risk assessments for approval and labeling requirements would then no longer apply.
A legislative proposal from the Commission is expected in early 2023.
Warning against total dependence of agriculture on genetic engineering patents
In the district council meeting, Hausham's mayor and deputy district administrator Jens Zangenfeind (FWG) emphasized that people's livelihoods should be preserved.
"That's why we have to be careful here," he stated and thanked the civil courage for their commitment to this topic.
At the same time, Thomas Tomaschek (Greens) warned that the danger of genetic engineering lies in its success and consequently in its spread: "In the end we can no longer distinguish between the seeds." The result would be a total dependence of agriculture on genetic engineering patents.
Therefore, it makes more than sense to take this decision.
District wants to set an example and protect small farmers
Olaf Fries (ÖDP) also agreed.
"It's good that we're setting an example to show that we don't want that," said the district councilor from Weyarn.
The argument that you need a new technology to fight world hunger is nonsense, "when you consider how much food we throw away and end up in animal stomachs".
For Tegernsee's Mayor Johannes Hagn (CSU), it is important to make people aware of these connections: "The smallholders become so economically dependent because the plants can no longer be reproduced." New seeds have to be bought again.
"We have to take massive action against this." In order to make this "sign from the bottom up" as clear as possible, he suggested repeating the decision in the councils of the 17 district municipalities.
The unanimous decision was a first step and "a strong signal", as District Administrator Olaf von Löwis (CSU) stated.
"This total unity is great."