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GM crops: Germany follows Scotland’s lead, opts out of EU approvals

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Following Scotland’s footsteps, Germany has decided to ban use of all kinds of genetically modified (GM) crops.

With the passage of the new rules, individual member states would now be allowed to block farmers from using GM organisms, even if the variety has been accepted on an EU-wide basis.

In a letter seen by the Reuters news agency, Christian Schmidt, Germany’s agriculture minister, said that the country will persist with its previously announced ban on all GM crops.

The EU countries have until 3 October 2015 to inform if they wish to opt out of the bloc-wide approvals.

Scotland’s SNP hailed Germany’s company in the move. “Like Scotland, the German Government recognises the importance of protecting its food and drink sector and keeping its environment clean and green,” said SNP’s Rob Gibson.

In government, the SNP has ensured that Scotland is at the forefront of environmental protection – legislating for world-leading climate change targets, significantly increasing renewable generation and placing a moratorium on fracking. The German decision shows that Scotland is now also leading Europe on GM crops,” the SNP leader further added.

The move by Germany comes despite overwhelming scientific evidence that improving crops by molecular biotechnology techniques is safe, and the practice is widespread across the Americas and Asia.

Scotland became the first country to opt out of bloc-wide GM licence, a move it said was needed to preserve the country’s “clean and green brand”.

The move by Germany and Scotland to ban GM crops brings out the rift caused by divided opinions on their efficacy in Europe.

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Thanksgiving Day Around The World

It has roots as a harvest celebration, but is celebrated mainly as a religious holiday today.

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Justin Trudeau
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau helps prepare Thanksgiving dinner with his son Xavier, bottom left, and daughter Ella-Grace, bottom right, at the Salvation Army in Ottawa, Ontario. VOA

The United States isn’t the only nation to mark Thanksgiving; similar celebrations are held in Canada, Grenada, Liberia, Japan and Germany.

In Canada, the national holiday takes place on the second Monday of October.

In Grenada, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated October 25. It commemorates the anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Grenada, which began on that day in 1983 and resulted in the restoration of political stability in the country.

Thanksgiving Day, united states
A traditional Thanksgiving dinner often includes turkey, gracy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing and sweet potatoes. VOA

In Liberia, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the first Thursday of November. It follows the same traditions as Thanksgiving Day in the United States.

In Japan, Labor Thanksgiving Day always takes place November 23. The holiday, which began as a fall festival, also celebrates Japanese workers.

Also Read: The Story Of How Thanksgiving Day Came Into Being

In Germany, Thanksgiving, or Erntedank, is celebrated the first Sunday in October. It has roots as a harvest celebration, but is celebrated mainly as a religious holiday today. (VOA)