A worst-case scenario for impact of proposed GE Seed Contamination Directive on EU Arable Land

Publication - 14 October, 2002
The seed contamination directive allows for eventual contamination of soya, cotton and sugarbeet seeds with genetically engineered varieties should pending applications receive a growing approval. Across the EU15 and accession countries (inc Turkey) over 18.3 million hectares of arable land are currently planted with soy, cotton, sugarbeet, maize or oilseed tape. All of this land could be affected by GE seed contamination directive. This table shows by country how many genetically engineered (GE) plants could be released through seed contamination across the 13 accession countries in if the proposed thresholds for seed contamination in soy (0.7%) maize, cotton , sugar beet (0.5%) and oilseed rape (0.3%) are adopted and pending applications are approved. 14,580 million unregulated GE plants would represent a cumulative area of 84,550 hectares or 845km2 – equivalent to planting out 120,785 football pitches.

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