A bill on biotechnology due to come before the German government today [Friday] could impose a far more rigorous framework on the sector.

The bill foresees some of the most laborious rules across Europe for the cultivation on genetically modified crops. Growers of GM crops would become directly liable for damage to surrounding fields, as well as imposing strict safety measures on GM growers, for example surrounding their fields with hedges made of non-GM plants to prevent cross-pollination of crops. The bill also foresees all land earmarked for commercial or experimental GM cultivation being entered in a public register.

Environmentalists have applauded the bill, while the biotech sector fears it could set back its work by years, discouraging research into GM crops.

The bill is expected to be passed later today.