French farmers have destroyed 18,000 hectares (44,479 acres) of rapeseed after traces of a GMO variety that is typically grown in Canada was discovered in batches of Bayer seed sold in Europe.
GMO crops remain a controversial topic in Europe, where production of genetically modified crops is widely restricted, and completely banned in France. The destruction of the crops was carried out prior to flowering, so that there would be no possibility of the non-authorized GMO variety spreading.
Original estimates from Bayer placed the acreage to be destroyed in France at 8,000 hectares (19,768 acres), however, due to issues questioning the traceability of the seeds in some instances, further measures were taken, removing another 10,000 hectares.
In Germany, the acreage destroyed was far lower at 2,150 hectares (5,313 acres), and less than original estimates of up to 3,000 hectares (7,413 acres), according to Bayer.
Bayer has offered to compensate the farmers who have lost their year’s crop, and who are obligated to not grow rapeseed next season in order to ensure there will not be a re-emergence of the non-GMO variety.
Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org.