Hamburg joined the European Network of GMO-free regions as 63th member. The accession was part of the international conference “GMO Free Europe – Future Opportunities and Challenges” held to discuss the use of genetic engineering in agriculture with political representatives and civil society actors. The Hamburg Senate has thus met the voters’ desire for GM-free, locally produced foods and implemented a key aspect of its “Agricultural Policy Concept 2020’.
Following the accession, the Hamburg Senate will implement concrete projects and measures to support the use of genetic engineering in horticulture and agriculture. In addition to specific financial incentives for farmers as part of Hamburg’s agricultural funding scheme, subsidy rates for organic farming will be increased and services for consumers expanded. In addition, also an increased promotion of co-operations and local initiatives are planned.
Proudly Producing Proper Food
By the end of October 2014, 214 GMO-free-regions, 344 GMO-free-municipalities and 31.913 GMO-free-farmers, i.e. 1.181.557 ha (2.919.691 acres), were declared in Germany. There has been no commercial cultivation of GMOs in Germany since 2012 and no deliberate releases since 2013. Lastly, GM potatoes (0.3 ha) and GM sugar beets (0.5 ha) were planted for experimental purposes in 2012.
European Network of GMO-free Regions
On 4 February 2003, 21 regions jointly founded the European network of GMO-free regions. The central demands of the network were specified in 2005 by the so-called Charter of Florence. Meanwhile, 64 European authorities have joined the network. Members are found in Belgium, France, Italy, Austria, Spain, Croatia, Greece and the UK. In Germany, the federal states of Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Thuringia and Baden-Württemberg are members in the network. Along with Hamburg, also Bremen joined the network. Today, eleven German states are members of the network.
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