May 24, 2013
German brewers are warning officials that the country's highly prized beer industry may be in jeopardy if the practice of fracking becomes widespread.
The Association of German Breweries, which represents companies including Anheuser-Busch and Bitburger Braugruppe, rejected a government proposal for a law that would set parameters on the practice of hydraulic fracturing, allegedly protecting certain areas.
"The water has to be pure and more than half Germany's brewers have their own wells which are situated outside areas that could be protected under the government's current planned legislation on fracking," said an association spokesman.
"You cannot be sure that the water won't be polluted by chemicals so we have urged the government to carry out more research before it goes ahead with a fracking law," he added.
The high possibility of groundwater pollution as a result of fracking threatens the country's 500-year-old industry rule on water purity. Under the "Reinheitsgebot," brewers have to produce beer using only malt, hops, yeast and water.
According to reports, the association has sent a letter voicing its concerns to six Cabinet ministers including Environment Minister Peter Altmaier.
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