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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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Catalan Former Leader Faces Extradition Threat Again

Catalonia's former leader Carles Puigdemont on Tuesday faced fresh threats of extradition from Germany, where a regional prosecutor's office has requested that he be sent to Spain to face charges of rebellion.

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Activists protest with a giant Catalan flag
Activists protest with a giant Catalan flag during a mass rally against Catalonia's declaration of independence, in Barcelona, Spain. VOA

Catalonia’s former leader Carles Puigdemont on Tuesday faced fresh threats of extradition from Germany, where a regional prosecutor’s office has requested that he be sent to Spain to face charges of rebellion.

The Spanish judiciary had sent new documents to German authorities regarding the charges being issued against Puigdemont, meaning the Schleswig-Holstein regional prosecution has requested that an extradition request issued by Spain be considered again by courts, sources from the prosecutor’s office told Efe news.

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Flag of Germany. Pixabay

The regional court had previously refused to extradite Puigdemont on rebellion charges and was studying whether to hand him over to Spain to face trial over alleged misuse of public funds.

Puigdemont is wanted in Spain for an investigation into possible rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds for his alleged role in Catalonia’s separatist referendum and subsequent declaration of independence, deemed unconstitutional by the Spanish judiciary.

Also Read: Reduction of Job Strain Can Lower the Threat of Mental Illness Cases

He fled to Belgium before he could be arrested but was later detained in Germany. (IANS)

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