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The proposed Amendments to the German Biotechnology Law: Progress or Setback for Biotechnology in Germany?

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On 8 August 2007 the German federal government has approved a draft legislative package introducing changes to the biotechnology laws and regulations. This is already the second time the current government has amended the rules and procedures regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The new draft is aimed at fulfilling the government coalition agreement to advance research and application of biotechnology in Germany. This article will provide an overview of the proposed amendments and briefly analyse to what extend the aim of advancing biotechnology has been achieved. The author argues that the draft introduces a number of amendments with the potential of advancing biotechnology research and of appeasing the farming community on the issue of cultivation of GMOs. However, a number of fundamental policy choices regarding biotechnology have been left unaltered. The author therefore concludes that this draft does not lead to a paradigmatic change regarding biotechnology policy in Germany.

Affiliations: 1: LLM (Brügge), German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL)

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