I Don't BEE-lieve it!! 

The German Beekeepers Association (DIB), which represents almost 100,000 beekeepers, has called for a nationwide ban on GMO cultivation according to reports from the German NGO keine-gentechnik.de. This call for a ban follows controversial legislation that has allowed EU member states to opt-out of GM cultivation even though it has been approved at the European Union level.

Though GM supporters have been angry about the new law, calling it ‘unfounded’ and stating that it ‘lacks scientific justification,’ many non-GMO supporters (including bee keepers) point to the dangers that have repeatedly come up regarding genetically modified foods. Not to mention the damage caused by herbicides and pesticides used to grow them and the decimation of pollinating (otherwise known as beneficial) insects.

At the behest of the DIB, beekeepers are hoping that the Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt (CSU) will administer a nationwide ban. The Minister, thus far, has argued in favour of allowing each state individually to decide if they will ban GMOs.

Since bees can fly up to eight kilometres to pollinate and search for food, this is likely an untenable compromise. The juxtaposition of nearby crops, even from one state to another would mean that while one has instituted a ban, a nearby state would still suffer from GM crop contamination. What’s more, this exposes the bees to biotech chemicals like glyphosate (eg Roundup) which has been declared carcinogenic by the World Health Organization’s IARC.

The beekeepers state that this would be “environmentally and agriculturally unacceptable.” The demand for a nationwide ban on GMOs will likely be tough to uphold, according to some. Dr H.-Christoph von Heydebrand, the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, states that nationwide bans would be much harder to justify legally than regional or local bans. Matthew Moore, a lawyer from the EU Council, agreed that it would be more possible under the law to defend national measures that “do not extend to the whole territory.” The German Beekeepers Association (DIB), which represents almost 100,000 beekeepers, has called for a nationwide ban on GMO cultivation according to reports from the German NGO keine-gentechnik.de. This call for a ban follows controversial legislation that has allowed EU member states to opt-out of GM cultivation even though it has been approved at the European Union level.

Though GM supporters have been angry about the new law, calling it ‘unfounded’ and stating that it ‘lacks scientific justification,’ many non-GMO supporters (including bee keepers) point to the dangers that have repeatedly come up regarding genetically modified foods. Not to mention the damage caused by herbicides and pesticides used to grow them and the decimation of pollinating (otherwise known as beneficial) insects.

At the behest of the DIB, beekeepers are hoping that the Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt (CSU) will administer a nationwide ban. The Minister, thus far, has argued in favour of allowing each state individually to decide if they will ban GMOs.

Since bees can fly up to eight kilometres to pollinate and search for food, this is likely an untenable compromise. The juxtaposition of nearby crops, even from one state to another would mean that while one has instituted a ban, a nearby state would still suffer from GM crop contamination. What’s more, this exposes the bees to biotech chemicals like glyphosate (eg Roundup) which has been declared carcinogenic by the World Health Organization’s IARC.

The beekeepers state that this would be “environmentally and agriculturally unacceptable.” The demand for a nationwide ban on GMOs will likely be tough to uphold, according to some. Dr H.-Christoph von Heydebrand, the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, states that nationwide bans would be much harder to justify legally than regional or local bans. Matthew Moore, a lawyer from the EU Council, agreed that it would be more possible under the law to defend national measures that “do not extend to the whole territory.

News Flash - Don't think this will happen in the UK? Guess again, farmers will be able to use blacklisted pesticides linked to serious harm in bees after the UK government temporarily lifted an EU ban. Opponents called the decision “scandalous” and criticised the government’s secrecy, which has included gagging its own expert advisers.  

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