COMMENT by Dr Brian John: At last, some progress over the mysterious cattle deaths in Hesse, Germany, which were linked at the time to Syngenta's genetically modified Bt176 corn in cattle feed. There were furious denials at the time from Syngenta, accusations of cover-ups by Syngenta, the Robert Koch Institute and the German authorities, and a determined and vicious campaign of vilification directed at the farmer, Gottfried Gloeckner. As a result, Gloeckner lost almost everything. Now the farmer is fighting back... Is there a chance of justice at last?
PRESS RELEASE May 2 2012
Frankfurt am Main - There is a dramatic new development in the widely-discussed case of the German farmer Gottfried Gloeckner.
Between 2000 and 2002 Gloeckner, whose dairy farm was then in North Hessen near Frankfurt, witnessed a mysterious death of numbers of his cows after he had fed them genetically manipulated Bt176 corn from the Swiss company, Syngenta.
Gloeckner, who lost an earlier civil law case asking damages from the company in the Frankfurt Regional Court, has now filed a criminal case against Syngenta.
The charges are new and shocking: In the new filing Gloeckner charges that the director of Syngenta Germany GmbH, Hans-Theo Jachmann, knew about a Bt 176 corn feeding test in 1996 in the USA and that he did not inform either Gloeckner nor the judge in the later legal proceeding of Gloeckner against Syngenta about the outcome. In the US feeding test with Bt 176, which was commissioned by Syngenta, four cows died in two days at which point the company ordered the test stopped. The cows in the control group not fed the GMO corn of Syngenta remained healthy and normal. Gloeckner and a renowned French molecular biologist learned of the study in Paris in 2009. That reinforced Gloeckner’s conviction that his cows in fact died due to the feeding of the GMO corn. He then had a respected German legal expert on GMO give his expert opinion.
The result of that was the conclusion that Syngenta in its dealings with Bt176 had committed a grave criminal offense if, in the newest case filed by Gloeckner today in Basle Switzerland, Hanau Germany and Frankfurt courts, the following would be proven:
Syngenta had never informed Gloeckner about the outcome of their US study nor of numerous other dangers from feeding with Bt176 corn that were already known to them. They were legally obliged to do so and because they did not do so, the company is liable for the destruction of Gloeckner’s 65 cows.
Additionally it is charged that deaths in the USA and in Germany related to the feeding of Syngenta Bt176 corn, by law, should have been registered with the appropriate authorities as “unexpected occurrences.”
Such was never done, otherwise the relevant German office, (then the Robert Koch Institute) would never have permitted the tests of Bt176 corn without first informing Gloeckner of the risks.
The most serious charge brought in the new filing by Gloeckner, however, is the charge that during the earlier court trial between Gloeckner and Syngenta, Syngenta testified before the court that they knew of no risks related to Bt176. Gloeckner’s case was thereby dismissed. Syngenta then deliberately withheld the critical information that in their own earlier tests before Gloeckner’s, four cows in only two days had died. As a consequence of the deliberate withholding of that critical information Gloeckner suffered financial damage well above €500000 ( US$650,000) which he was prevented from regaining through the initial court process.
This is the basis on which Gloeckner now, together with the German group, Bündnis Aktion Gen-Klage together with the Swiss NGO “Public Eye on Science” headed by activist rebel farmer Urs Hans, file the new case against Syngenta with the office of the state’s attorney in Frankfurt, Hanau Germany and in Basle Switzerland.
For any further information on the case contact:
Basler Appell gegen Gentechnologie: http://www.baslerappell.ch/kontakt/