Germany shifts to greener farming

Germany shifts away from factory farming to less intensive and more environmentally methods

German farm minister Renate Künast announced a daring new policy on consumer protection and agriculture, on 8 February. Germany's greener agriculture policy would promote higher food standards, natural animal breeding and less use of medicines in animals. Ms Künast stated in her speech that Germany would try to raise the share of organically grown foods from 3 percent today to 20 percent within the next ten years.

Ms Künast also promised 500,000 million euro in aid in response to the current BSE crises in Germany. Since the BSE crisis began in November 2000, Germany has reported 33 cases of BSE.

In an effort to bring consumer affairs to a central point, Germany will also create a new government agency for food safety and consumer protection. The new food safety agency will be modelled on the powerful American Food and Drug Agency (FDA).

EU Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler welcomed the measures presented by Germany and hopes other EU states start moving in the same direction. Ms Künast also called all EU Member States to use existing mechanisms to further promote ecological agriculture.

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