Consequences of Adventitious Presence of Non-Approved GMOs in Seeds: the Case of Maize Seeds in Germany

Philipp Wree, Justus Wesseler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In Germany, seeds have a zero tolerance for traces of GMOs which are not approved for cultivation in the EU (Bundesverwaltungsgericht 2012). However, adventitious presence of unapproved events in seeds may happen. That can be the cause for unintended release of GMOs into the environment. Two of these cases have been broadly discussed in the media. In 2010, the BASF GMO potato variety Amadea appeared in fields of the BASF GMO potato variety Amflora in Sweden. In contrast to Amflora, Amadea was and is not an approved variety for commercial cultivation in the EU. In another case, seed samples of the maize variety PR38H20 from Pioneer, dedicated for the German market, were tested positive for the Monsanto GMO event NK603. Varieties including this event are not approved for cultivation by the EU. But by the time positive test results have been announced, relevant maize seeds were sold to farmers and sown. Problems that appeared during the practical handling of that issue revealed that there is a lack of legal guidelines and regulations for the situation of unintended release of unapproved GMO varieties in the EU. In the following case study we will focus on the PR38H20 case.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoexistence of Genetically Modified, Organic and Conventional Foods
Subtitle of host publicationGovernment Policies and Market Practices
EditorsNicholas Kalaitzandonakes, Peter W.B. Phillips, Justus Wesseler, Stuart J. Smyth
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Electronic)9781493937271
ISBN (Print)9781493937257
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameNatural Resource Management and Policy


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