In Germany, no genetically modified (GM) varieties are available for cultivation. In 1999 26 varieties with different GM properties of four crops are in vcu-tests (value of cultivation and use) for registration by the Bundessortenamt. These varieties could be grown on a large scale at the earliest form 2000 to 2002. Seed can also be purchased from varieties listed in the EEC variety catalogue. Whether or not and when the first GM varieties will be listed is currently unknown. One prerequisite for registration of GM varieties is marketing authorization by the EU Commission. Depending on this authorization and the German seed act, only insect resistant (Bt-) and herbicide tolerant maize can be grown on a limited area in Germany today. The introduction of GM herbicide tolerant sugar beet varieties could be an approach to sustainable sugar beet cultivation. Relating to the mode of action of both Liberty and Roundup Ultra, weed control with concepts of economic thresholds could be developed. Furthermore, both herbicides have a low toxicity and are metobolized fast and without residues in the soil. In Germany, public acceptance is increasing while more and more doubts are being raised in other EU member states. It can be assumed that the political situation in Europe will lead to delays in the registration and market release of GM varieties in Germany.
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