Publication date: 01/10/2022


Germany’s Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) presents its position on an international discussion surrounding research approaches to the genetic modification of wild organisms. Conclusions include:

  • Due to the complexity of biological diversity – from the molecular to the ecosystem level – the effects of genetically engineering wild organisms cannot be sufficiently assessed with the methods currently available.
  • The fundamental and necessary discussions on the compatibility of genetically engineering wild organisms with the requirements and the objectives laid down in section 1 of the German Federal Nature Conservation Act must be conducted.
  • Global biodiversity loss is progressing with tangible consequences. We need suitable instruments to stop it. Nevertheless, wild organisms must not be genetically modified solely based on the assumption of a potential benefit to nature conservation and with uncertainty about possible harm.
  • Along with its diversity, beauty and utility, nature’s uniqueness is a protected good in nature conservation that is firmly embedded in society and in legislation. Its intrinsic value imposes limits on the extent to which humans can intervene in nature to protect it. I
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