Brussels, 03 Nov 2004
Germany needs to be more open-minded towards the use of geneticly engineered products, says German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.
Speaking at a convention for the Council for Engineering Sciences at the Union of the German Academies of Science and Humanities (Acatech), Mr Schröder warned that technological scepticism is damaging Germany's position in world markets.
'There is no ill will towards the technology in Germany, rather an extreme reluctance to implement genetic engineering,' Mr Schröder, is reported as saying at the convention by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
According to the Chancellor, Germans, unlike Americans, think about the risks first. Mr Schröder is hoping, however, that German society will grow aware of the potential and promises that genetic engineering has to offer.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung also reports that the German Chancellor has complained to the German Federal Council that, due to a combination of factors -the mindsets of environmental movements, traditional technology scepticism and religious motivations - Germany's position on the matter of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is too restrictive.
'This is leading to a situation that weakens our market position and does not promote German innovation,' said the German chancellor in a statement.
'This situation requires a new discussion,' added the Chancellor, emphasising that German society is in a decisive transitional phase in which 'many painful social reforms are necessary, the positive effects of which will be realised with time'.