POSSIBILITIES OF PLANT GENETIC ENGINEERING
After reading the sparse literature available on the subject, I had a GM feed (herbicide-resistant (Roundup Ready) RR soybean) delivered to my farm between 1995 and 1997, in order to make field experiments
and get insights into the nature of herbicide-resistant plants. Agronomic issues were, for me, in the foreground, however, the experiments with winter oilseed rape and maize plants were destroyed by anti-GM activists. In 1997, a Bt construct (Syngenta
Bt maize) was approved by EU Directive 90/220 and could be planted. Now I was able to gain direct insights into the effects of GM maize.
I believed that this was the future of farming.
On the small green parts of the GM plants,
the corn borer damage visible was only the size of a pinhead, not more, with no impact on the maize plants. I was convinced it worked. Since the yield potential of the plants could be optimized, I increased the cultivation of Syngenta Bt maize,
between 1997 and 2000, to 100% of my corn acreage. The Bt maize was fed as silage and grain maize to my dairy herd as part of a Total Mix Ration. In conventional studies, differences in the protein content of Bt maize of 15-20%+ compared to the
conventional main lines were clear, however, these values could not be carried over into the food ration of the final milk results.
Then came the outbreak of massive disease symptoms in my dairy herd: white-gray sticky diarrhea, water retention
in the joints, udder edema, blood vessel enlargement, blood in the milk, dry brittle udder skin, immunosuppression, abnormalities of newborn calves and an unusual number of deaths of cows and newborn calves.
Studies of the amino acids revealed deviations
from minus 24% for Bt maize kernels and minus 8.8% in Bt maize silage compared to the conventional parent line. Analysis of Bt toxin levels in the fresh GM corn silage showed 8300 ng / kg after 1.5 years storage, furthermore, in December 2000, the presence
of both Bt and Roundup Ready constructs in the milk were confirmed. After these abnormalities were confirmed in 2002, I stopped the Bt maize cultivation on my land.
It was clear to me that “substantial equivalence” of the Bt maize
with conventional maize was not demonstrated.
In June 2003, I presented my evidence, to the Federal Ministry for Consumer Protection, Nutrition and Agriculture (BMVEL) in Berlin, that there were security issues as well as approval issues with the
Syngenta Bt maize.
The animal manure was contaminated with Bt toxins. The toxins were, among other things, distributed over the pasture and came into the feed circuit (grass silage, grazing) and back into the animals. So, despite the discontinuation
of Bt maize feeding, the problem was not solved. Finally, my milk production had to be stopped entirely on 13 December 2004. Dr. Angelika Hilbeck (ETH Zurich), in October 2005, identified that the Bt toxin in my plants was an active toxin.
As spore, it was much more active, more stable than the crystalline form present in the Bt toxin produced in organic farming.
study conducted at the Technical University Munich, „Feeding Study with Mon 810“ (Monsanto) A was undertaken
to give scientific clarity about safety issues of Monsanto Mon 810 Bt maize. The results showed that over a period of 25 months, however, they were forced to replace fully half of the original test cows with new healthy cows. Additionally, the study
divided the rations of Bt maize in a proportion of 59% maize silage, 41% maize grain, in addition to the maize pellets (at> 600° C dried green maize), so that the scientific significance of this TU Munich study was fundamentally invalidated.
As a result of the study, the Federal Government's BMELV declared a sales and cultivation ban of Mon 810 on April 14, 2009.
All GMO companies left the EU and went back to the USA in December 2012.