Coexistence in agriculture. Mixing, outcrossing and isolation distances
COGEM points out that when conventional and GM crops are both grown commercially, mixing of conventional and GM products can not be excluded. To prevent reciprocal claims of liability agreements must be reached about measures and separation criteria. However, it is important that these agreements relate to everyday practice and are made with the consent of the parties involved. COGEM hopes to contribute to a consensus by providing insights into the effects of farm management measures on mixing. Oilseed rape: Based on the current data, COGEM observes that it is not yet possible to accurately determine separation distances for the cultivation of oilseed rape. Maize: COGEM believes that for genetically modified maize, it will be possible to keep the percentage of mixing below the thresholds proposed by the EU if separation distances of 25 to 80 metres are adopted and buffer crops are used. Potato: COGEM recommends to adopt a manoeuvring distance (2 to 3 metres) for harvesting machines. This prevents GM potatoes from an adjacent plot being harvested or prevents GM potatoes that are being harvested from ending up on an adjacent plot. Beet: COGEM recommends that the grower of GM beets should be legally required to remove bolters before flowering and seed setting in addition to adopting a manoeuvring distance.