German researchers are moving their field tests of genetically modified peas to North Dakota. University of Hannover plant geneticist Hans-Jörg Jacobsen says that Germany's unclear regulations regarding field trials of GM plants and the continuing threat of vandalism prompted the move.
And when asked about the application of the socalled precautionary principle to GM plants, Jacobsen offered this rather political response (see * Correction below):
The precautionary principle as such is questionable. If I were to agree with the precautionary principle as a central concept, I would also have to accept George W. Bush's war against Iraq, which in my view is unjustified. I am no more able to do this than to consider this principle important in the case of GM plants. Even Bush, that total loser, needed no evidence of weapons of mass destruction before launching an attack; mere suspicion was enough for him, as it is for many ideologists in this country. English makes a distinction between the "precautionary principle" and the "precautionary approach". German sticklers for principles probably can’t make this distinction. Perhaps that explains why there is no neat translation of the term "precautionary approach" in German.
* The above quote was taken from an interview posted several years ago and due to an editing error mistakenly used in a way that made it seem a response to recent events.