MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: CDU CSU
Dear Madam President! Dear Members of Parliament! Dear Minister of State Volker Wissing! Research and innovation can make our lives better, healthier and also more sustainable.
(Applause from delegate René Röspel [SPD])
I want to bring more objectivity to the debate and come up with examples: Potatoes with less acrylamide formation – acrylamide, which means carcinogenic. Salads with a higher vitamin C content, fungus resistance from corn, wheat or bananas, among others, to save pesticides, or drought tolerance of corn to reduce water consumption.
Why do I mention this? Since the beginning of agriculture, science has selected and propagated particularly suitable plant specimens. Without this our diet today would not exist; without breeding it would be inconceivable. For decades, random changes have been forced, for example by radiation, and applied according to the principle of “trial and error”. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.
But there are new breeding technologies that save us an incredible amount of time and which, by the way, are indistinguishable from spontaneous random mutations.
(Harald Ebner [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: Wrong, Minister!)
Together with the Union, I advocate that we are open here and that we should finally put off ideological blinkers.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU and the FDP – Michael Grosse-Brömer [CDU / CSU]: Good idea!)
Why? Because it is precisely the Greens who, from the urban point of view, make demands on agriculture in rural areas:
(Katharina Dröge [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: Always the same old story!)
They should use less pesticides, but please produce regionally and not consume any resources. Food waste should be reduced and, above all, plants should be grown that are good for the soil – and that in view of a changing climate. But you don’t want to give them the instrument that farmers need to do this, and very few of you want to become farmers yourself.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU and the FDP – Harald Ebner [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: Is there only one, Minister? Is there only one instrument?)
That is the challenge for responsible politics.
If you look at the range between the FDP and the Greens in the debate, you have to say: This is really very interesting, very nice. That is why the State Minister Volker Wissing is also looking for this stage. It was a special spectacle here. He needs the federal stage to express his opinion where the FDP is in the opposition. He could actually do that on the state stage because he’s in government there; but he doesn’t do it there.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU – Michael Grosse-Brömer [CDU / CSU]: Yes, why not?)
And why doesn’t he do it there? I would like to read you a short excerpt from the coalition agreement that Mr Wissing signed.
(Carina Konrad [FDP]: Who sponsored BioNTech? That was him!)
There it says: “The Rhineland-Palatinate agriculture works GMO-free in cultivation; we won’t change anything about that. ”That is the FDP, if it is allowed to govern.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD – Michael Grosse-Brömer [CDU / CSU]: Does the Bundestag faction know?)
In this respect, I also want to say: The chairman of the BioNTech supervisory board, Helmut Jeggle, said in the direction of the Rhineland-Palatinate state government, where the FDP co-governs: Unfortunately, we have so far not been able to identify such efforts as in Brandenburg for other companies in Rhineland-Palatinate. Initiatives in this direction on the part of the government coalition made up of the SPD, FDP and the Greens cannot be perceived. – That’s why you need the Bundesbühne: to express wishes that you don’t want to implement yourself.
But let me turn to the Greens. It’s really exciting what the Greens are saying. You have declared the BASF site in Rhineland-Palatinate to be GMO-free, which is intellectually very demanding,
(Harald Ebner [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: Extension! Extension, Minister! You are deliberately suppressing it, and that is not fair!)
celebrated as GMO-free and even toasted it when this research division migrated from BASF to the USA.
(Harald Ebner [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: You fool people!)
I want to be very clear: I found Dr. Baden-Württemberg stool not at all misleading; it may have been demanding for you.
(Applause from MPs of the CDU / CSU and the FDP and from MP Stephan Protschka [AfD] – Harald Ebner [ALLIANCE 90 / THE GREENS]: Ui! Now it starts! That should be below your level! Abg. Katharina Dröge [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: Unfortunately nothing is below their level! Nothing!)
But I have to tell you on this question: In Baden-Württemberg, 5 million euros should be used for genetic research, keyword also “CRISPR / Cas”, in order to help agriculture achieve the goals that you always have in front of you. You thwarted your minister. But I can tell you: I will fund some of this research with money from my company.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU)
By the way, we also promote other methods of plant breeding, especially research in this area. Of course, CRISPR / Cas or green genetic engineering is not a panacea. But openness is a way of avoiding being overtaken by others and of not having to ask the question why Germany as a science location is not advancing and why other countries overtake us.
Therefore, dear Greens, I would advise you to take the open letter sent to you by over 100 scientists seriously. We are concerned about misinformation about alleged health and ecological risks and alleged economic disadvantages in the global south. That is criticized there. In times of fake news, it’s indecent for the Greens to do that.
(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU and the FDP)
Professor Wilfried Wackernagel from the Institute for Biology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Oldenburg is not someone who spreads fake news, he is a scientist.
Therefore I tell you: get out of your ideological corner, out of the trench warfare! Because in the end it’s about the following: It’s about us achieving the goals of sustainability, but also the human right to food. And in my opinion it is arrogant on our part where the grocery shelves in the supermarket are full, other countries that are suffering massively from climate change, that have no crop security, not to enable this research here with us to help them that their agriculture can survive.
(Applause from members of the FDP)
Therefore, when we talk about “farm to fork”, I ask the “farm to plate” strategy that you always carry in front of you: Why do you always leave out one aspect of “farm to fork” or the Green Deal ? Because there is talk of genetic engineering and CRISPR / Cas.
(Harald Ebner [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: That’s exactly what we’re talking about!)
The Greens are very flexible: They are in favor of labeling – yes – with green genetic engineering. But of course they don’t take it that seriously when genetically engineered vitamins are in food or medicines.
(Sylvia Kotting-Uhl [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: What now? – Harald Ebner [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: What?)
They don’t want that to be on it. Why? Because then the citizens would get used to it. You only need one campaign topic. That is dubious.
Thank you very much.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU and the FDP – Harald Ebner [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: I also want to explain the difference to you! We’ll be happy to do that again! At some point you may understand!)
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.