Reading aloud Some of the main products of green genetic engineering, namely cereals, corn and soya, are to be banned in Germany for the animal mast. However, it will take two to three years until appropriate controls on cultivation in Germany and imports of animal feed from abroad are introduced, said Minister of Agriculture Renate Künast in an interview with Bild der wissenschaft Online. After that, there will be no green genetic engineering in the feed. For the farmers, the motto "class instead of mass" applies anyway anyway. For a lower total number of beef cattle less food is needed. The times of mass production of animals is over. "There are bonuses for quality, not for surpluses, " said the Minister of Agriculture. In ten years, 20 percent of German agriculture will be converted to organic farming.

By the end of April, new quality standards will be developed in cooperation with representatives of agriculture, the food industry, retailers, feed manufacturers and politicians. The result should include two new trademarks. "One thing stands for ecological quality on the level of Bioland and Demeter. The other meets minimum biological standards, "explained Renate Künast. New marketing systems should ensure that there is no two-tier society in the diet, in which the purse determines whether a person can eat healthily. A new federal agency, the Federal Agency for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, will control the new standards. The model is the Foodstandard Agency in the UK, which was launched after the BSE scandal in the kingdom. There are also changes at the European level. For example, new guidelines for species-appropriate pig farming are being developed. In addition, long animal transports are to be abolished. "Such initiatives from Brussels, of course, help with the restructuring here, " says the Minister of Agriculture.

Expensive warehouses or transports for agricultural surpluses will soon no longer exist in Germany. Instead, the money goes into scientific projects such as security research. "Research policy has to be redesigned in this regard, " Renate Künast explained. There will also be new financial pots for science in the field of organic farming. The Minister of Agriculture wants to set up her own institute. "The agricultural turnaround is millimeter work and it needs the cooperation of industry, agriculture and consumers, " said Renate Künast. "But she keeps going, even if BSE is under control."

Read more about BSE: Background Report - The State of Research Ad

Gabriele Dinkhauser

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