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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: CDU CSU

Dear Madam President! Dear Colleagues! In the motion before us by the FDP parliamentary group, there are certainly some valuable points that are worth discussing. But that does not mean that – even with the best genetic engineering – all yellow claims become golden words.

The first demands of this application relate to a new funding fund for genetic engineering. The German and European funding jungle is now so big that there are companies that are busy advising others,

(Shout from the FDP: Because it’s too complicated!)

and basically developed our own business concept from it.

(Dr. h. C. Thomas Sattelberger [FDP]: That is because of the bureaucracy that you are building up!)

It may be that the FDP would like to support these companies too, but that does not really help the actual companies that we want to support. If one follows the logic of this application, the demand for a funding fund for funding advisors and the introduction of a new course for funding advisors should soon follow.

(Shouting from the FDP: You are specialized in it!)

The present proposal goes a little further. You want to adapt the degree programs for genetic engineering to the new processes in biotechnology. We have 18,000 courses in Germany. For the special subject of biotechnology alone, that is 70. This does not even include the subjects medicine or agricultural sciences. I thought that I would always agree with the FDP that the state should strictly stay out of the organization of scientific research. It is not only about the freedom of research and teaching, but also about the autonomy of the universities. If we want optimal research, then we have to leave it to those who actually know much better and can do much better, ladies and gentlemen.

After the application, legal texts are to be extended by a chapter on the innovation principle. To be honest, I find that not very innovative. Mr. Sattelberger, unfortunately that would again build up bureaucracy.

(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU and the SPD)

Presumably, such lines would be filled with hot air prose similar to the less meaningful part of the application for the transfer of research results. Here you will find the usual filler words – you all know them -: “Networking”, “Synergy effects”, “Clusters”, “Translation points”, etc. I am sure that the committee could provide a little more specific information.

Next, the FDP parliamentary group calls for tax breaks for donors of venture capital.

(Applause from the FDP)

You don’t need tax incentives to invest in venture capital. The incentive for venture capital is in truth a three-digit return opportunity. KfW does not have to assume the default risks with tax money.

In this House, we recently decided on tax subsidies for research projects. Wait and see what that brings us in the end. Incidentally – this has already been mentioned here – we are not in a particularly bad position with our R&D expenditure in a global comparison. In Germany, their share of GDP is 3.1 percent; in comparison: USA only 2.8 percent, China 2.0 percent. The private economy is at an extremely high level with a total of 76 billion euros and an increase of almost 5 percent per year.

It is right to create better opportunities for savers so that they can better participate in the return opportunities of the markets. That can be done by providing better incentives for insurance and pension funds so that they can invest more in venture capital.

Your assessment of the demand that the legislation, especially with regard to genome editing and the new breeding techniques, urgently needs to be revised is clearly correct.

(Shout from the FDP: Aha!)

Patent law must also be changed. It cannot be that companies fail to enforce their patents and that their products are worthless. On the other hand, it must not happen that agriculture brings in a harvest that is subject to patents and licenses.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU – Rainer Spiering [SPD]: Right! – Harald Ebner [ALLIANCE 90 / THE GREENS]: Squaring the circle!)

The downright dogmatic-religious rejection of genetic engineering in general and new breeding methods in particular is not only extremely dangerous, it is also dishonest, because we have long had examples in medicine where genetic engineering processes save human lives.

(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU – Dr. Kirsten Tackmann [DIE LINKE]: It’s about open systems!)

In the end, however, the questions that arise are: Don’t we want to use these techniques to fight hunger in the world or to halt climate change? Can we seriously claim any longer that our country is free of genetic engineering products? Is it possible to isolate ourselves permanently from such products? Can we permanently afford to discriminate this high technology in this way and thus to forego an increase in innovative strength that can hardly be underestimated? If it does come to that, the sanity of this House really protect us from it.

(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU)

Then we will have to pay very dearly for it with wealth.

Thank you very much.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU – Harald Ebner [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: That was not fish, not meat!)


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI