padra's picture
what provisions have been allocated by g.m.seed producers to deal with cleanup of unwanted crops from neighbouring farms or recovery and eradication of cultivars if they are proven to cause harm?

A:Expert Answer

GM seed producers, such as Bayer, go through lengthy testing with regulators to prove the safety of their GM product for humans, animals and the environment before being authorized to sell such GM seed by regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration and/or U.S. Department of Agriculture. Since the first plantings of commercialized GM seed in 1996 (19 years ago), it has not been proven to cause harm. Growers are free to choose the seed they wish to purchase and grow based on preference, regulations, agronomic considerations, etc. If, for instance, a grower of a non-GM crop does not wish to have pollen from a GM crop grown on an adjacent farm cross-pollinating their crop, there are some best management considerations that facilitate such coexistence, including spatial, temporal and/or physical isolation.


In the very unlikely event that a GM crop would be proven to cause harm, Bayer has an emergency contact number and has an established procedure to address and manage issues. Further recourse to national laws and even international environmental protection laws exists. If you still have questions, please ask.

A:Expert Answer

While biotech crops have been planted for more than a decade on over four billion acres of land without causing any damage to biological diversity, the public continues to have questions about how they can be sure there are appropriate mechanisms in place to address the unlikely chance that these products could cause some kind of harm to the environment. The leading agricultural biotechnology provider companies — BASF, Bayers, Dow Agrosciences, DuPont, Monsanto and Syngenta — are addressing some of this concern by voluntarily offering a legally binding mechanism for seeking redress if the release of one of their ag-biotech products causes damage to biological diversity. This groundbreaking agreement, called the Compact, is a demonstration of the companies’ confidence in the safety of their products and their commitment to protect biological diversity. In the unlikely event that one of their products causes damage to biological diversity, the Compact sets out clearly defined rules and procedures for filing a claim and having that claim be evaluated and decided upon in a timely and independent way. For more information, please visit


Rickinreallife's picture

If I am growing certified seed for say a disease resistant wheat variety and some of my organic neighbors pollen gets into my wheat and dilutes the genetic purity of my certified wheat, can I sue my organic neighbor?

padra's picture

thank you Karin and Sarah for answering however the question was not about safety it was about weather or not these companies intend to be honorable in the event of problems

'the compact' is certainly a plan, but considering the members define who and under what circumstances arbitration can even be attempted it does not instill confidence. there are broader possible effects than the loosely termed 'biodiversity' specified

if companies [there are many more than those six] were required to post a bond with countries they supply markets in that represented a real cost of cleanup then citizens could have confidence & the state could be the one who defined damages instead of an industry assessment