Statement of 12 March 2008 (update 26 March 2008):

Tagfalter-Monitoring is not involved in a monitoring programme for MON810 genetically modified maize

Leipzig. On 6 December 2007, Germany’s Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) decided that seed from the genetically modified maize variety MON810 could once again be made available for commercial purposes in Germany. The decision followed Monsanto’s submission of a plan for monitoring the environmental impacts of cultivating the GM maize. In this connection, the monitoring plan submitted by Monsanto was published. The plan states on page 160: "With this network, five German networks will be involved in Monsanto’s monitoring program for MON 810 in Germany". One of the networks mentioned is Tagfalter-Monitoring Deutschland (Butterfly Monitoring Germany – TMD).

In the name of Tagfalter-Monitoring Deutschland, which is coordinated by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), we declare that:

  1. The mention was made without our knowledge and without our consent. There has been no contact between Monsanto and the project coordinators of TMD.
  2. We are convinced that no conclusions can be drawn from the data of the existing TMD network about the impacts of genetically modified maize. For this reason we believe that TMD is not a suitable instrument for monitoring the impacts of MON810.
  3. There has therefore been no collaboration to date, and there will be no such collaboration in future under these general conditions.

At the beginning of February we sent a letter to the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL), as the approving body, asking them to explain why they consider that the findings of the TMD network would be suitable in this context. We have not yet (26 March 08) received a reply to this question.

Coordinators of Tagfalter-Monitoring Deutschland (TMD)


Butterfly Monitoring Germany (TMD):

BMELV (Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection) press release of 6 December 2008:
Pressemitteilung des BMELV

Monsanto’s monitoring plan for the genetically modified maize variety MON810
Monitoringplan der Firma Monsanto

More information:

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)
PD Dr. Josef Settele
PD Dr. Josef Settele


Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)
PPress office
Tilo Arnhold / Doris Böhme
Telefon: +49 341 235 2278

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ was established in 1991 and has about 800 employees in Leipzig, Halle/S. and Magdeburg. They study the complex interactions between humans and the environment in cultivated and damaged landscapes. The scientists develop concepts and processes to help secure the natural foundations of human life for future generations.
The Helmholtz Association contributes to solving major challenges facing society, science and the economy with top scientific achievements in six research areas: Energy, Earth and Environment, Health, Key Technologies, Structure of Matter, Transport and Space. With 25,700 employees in 15 research centres and an annual budget of approximately 2.3 billion euro, the Helmholtz Association is Germany's largest scientific organisation. Its work follows in the tradition of the great natural scientist Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894).