BERLIN, April 11 Germany's federal states, who
oppose the cultivation of crops with genetically-modified
organisms (GMOs), voted on Friday to urge the national
government to seek an opt-out clause for individual European
Currently the EU has the power to approve GMO crops for
Europe-wide cultivation, but is moving towards an opt-out policy
that would allow individual countries to ban GM crops.
Germany's national government has blocked this up to now,
alongside Britain, France and Belgium, because of internal
divisions over GM policy.
In a separate vote in February, 19 of 28 EU countries voted
against granting approval for the cultivation of a GMO maize
variety, Pioneer 1507, developed by DuPont and Dow
But under the bloc's weighted voting system that was not
enough to reject the crop, leaving the way open for the EU
Commission to clear it.
Germany abstained from that vote.
The issue of GMO crops has divided Germany's right-left
coalition, between Angela Merkel's conservatives and the Social
Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) favour GMOs, but the
southern conservative party the Christian Social Union (CSU) and
the SPD oppose biotechnology crops.
Although widely grown in the Americas and Asia, GM crops are
generally unpopular in Europe, where public opposition is strong
and environmentalists have raised concerns about the impact on
(Reporting by Hans-Edzard Busemann; writing by Alexandra
Hudson; editing by Jason Neely)