Impact of Proposed GE Seed Contamination Directive on Arable Land of EU Accession States Upon Enlargement

Publication - 14 October, 2002
Close to 6.9 million hectares of arable land in the 13 EU accession countries (inc Turkey) are currently planted with maize or oilseed rape. Since one variety of genetically engineered (GE)oilseed rape and two varieties of GE maize already have approval for growing in the EU, all of this land could be affected by the seed contamination directive. This table shows by country how many genetically engineered plants could be released through seed contamination across the 13 accession countries in if the proposed thresholds for seed contamination in maize (0.5%) and oilseed rape (0.3%) are adopted.11,430 million unregulated GE plants could be released across an enlarged Europe ( EU 15 plus accession states including Turkey). If planted together this many GE plants would represent a cumulative area of 64,271 hectares or over 642km2. That is equivalent to planting an area of 91,815 football pitches.

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