According to this article from the website GMWatch, German beekeepers nationwide have called for a nationwide ban on the cultivation of genetically modified crops.
The website, citing a report by the German non-governmental organization keine-gentechnik.de, said that the call came from the German Beekeepers Association (DIB), an organization advocating for Germany to exercise its right to opt-out of the cultivation of GMOs approved by the European Union.
The organization represents almost 100,000 beekeepers according to the article.
These GMO crops have been implicated in honey bee deaths because of their over-reliance on chemicals like glyphosate which have been shown to kill beneficial plants, insects, and disrupt ecosystems.
Poisons in the environment from these crops work their way through the ecosystem and knock out the bees’ support systems, making them extremely vulnerable as they work their way through a minefield of poisons in order to pollinate crops.
GMO Law Showdowns in Europe
As part of the EU laws, member states are allowed to implement bans in parts or all of their territories.
German Agricultural Minister Christian Schmidt has said that each state should decide whether to ban them, but the beekeepers want the ban to go nationwide.
The main problem, the beekeepers say, is that bees can fly several miles in search of food, and bees “know no borders” according to the DIB.
Flying in and out of zones where poisonous herbicides are being sprayed could be hazardous to their health, the beekeepers argue.
The GMWatch article also cited legal voices stating that a nationwide GMO ban would be tough to uphold legally as compared with statewide bans.
Proponents of small family and organic farms now fear that the legal framework could set large-scale and small-scale farming interests against each other, which could be a win for the GMO industry even in a country that roundly rejects them.
Despite these challenges, the beekeepers remain defiant, seeking to avoid the type of catastrophes that have struck the United States and other places where bees have been disappearing.