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Germania: 2 vale piu’ di 41

08 Lug 2009
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Il peggior sordo e’ quello che non vuole sentire e non bastano 41 lavori tra il 2008-2009 che dimostrano che non ci sono rischi dalla coltivazione del mais Bt a fronte di solo due che mostrano effetti o indiretti o minori. Non si crede a 41 lavori ma a 2 incerti: forse non c’e’ nulla di scientifico nella scelta della moratoria tedesca sulla coltivazione del mais Bt, ma solo la copertura dei grandi interessi dei produttori di pesticidi.
Is the German Suspension of MON810 Maize Cultivation Scientifically Justified?

- Agnès Ricroch (AgroParisTech), Jean Baptiste Bergé (INRA) & Marcel Kuntz (CNRS), France

In a recent publication, we examined the justification used by the German government in April 2009 to suspend the cultivation of genetically modified maize varieties containing the Bt insect-resistance trait MON810. We critically examined the alleged « new data » concerning the potential environmental impact of these varieties:  namely two scientific papers describing laboratory force-feeding trials on ladybirds and daphnia, previous data on Lepidoptera and on aquatic and soil organisms.

We demonstrate that the suspension is based on an incomplete list of references and ignores the widely supported case-by-case approach.  The German arguments confuse two different types of Bt maize, MON810 and Bt176. In addition, the potential hazard is confused with proven risk in the scientific risk assessment procedure.

Furthermore, we did not find any justification for this suspension in our extensive survey of the scientific literature regarding possible effects under natural field conditions on non-target animals. The vast majority of the 41 articles published in 2008 and 2009 indicated that Bt maize had no impact on these organisms and only two articles indicate a minor effect, which is either inconsistent with the planting season or represents an indirect effect. Publications from 1996 to 2008 (376 publications) and recent meta-analyses do not provide any evidence of a consistent effects either. The lower abundance of some insects is confined mainly to specialized enemies of the target pest, the European corn borer (an expected consequence of its control by Bt maize). In contrast, Bt maize varieties have generally a lower impact than insecticide treatment.

The present review demonstrates that the German government used selected individual studies supposed to confirm its thesis and ignored the available meta-knowledge on MON810 maize already available. For example, supposedly new results on ladybirds (2009) were previously published in 2004 by the same authors in a german journal (in German).

Additionally, we note that the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) of the German Federal Government (in charge of providing « scientific justification » for the MON810 suspension) is also joint author of a report called BEETLE recently available on Internet, which shows the extent of the knowledge acquired on GMO environmental safety and which contradicts its own justifications for the MON810 ban.

The original publication is available at :

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