PRESS RELEASE on GMO's in Europe

THE GREENS / EUROPEAN FREE ALLIANCE in the European Parliament

PRESS RELEASE Strasbourg, 3rd July 2002

Euro-MPs vote for strict rules on GMOs

GMOs: Vote for consumers

The Greens/European Free Alliance welcomed today's "vote for consumers" by the European parliament on "The authorisation, traceability and labelling of genetically modified food, feed and organisms." Speaking after the controversial vote today,

Jill Evans MEP (Plaid Cymru -The Party for Wales) Spokesperson for the Greens/EFA on the Commission proposals said:

"This is a great victory for consumers and for the millions of people across the EU who do not want to eat genetically modified food and who do not want to feed it to their animals."

"The European parliament is the direct voice of the people of Europe. Now we must wait and see if governments of the EU will listen to the people or rather to big businesses."

"I am particularly happy that the parliament supported our proposal on 'no-tolerance of illegal GMOs', as opposed to the 1% policy proposed by the Commission. "

The Greens/EFA welcome the results for the following reasons:

1. Traceability and labelling:

All GM food and feed products have to be labelled and to be traceable irrespective of whether they contain DNA / protein or not. Thus in the future, products such as sugar and highly refined oils produced from GMOs have to be labelled.

2. Unauthorised GMOs:

Unauthorised GMOs or GM materials may not be present in any food or feed. The Commission proposed a threshold of 1%, which was rejected.

3. Labelling thresholds:

The labelling threshold applies only to GMO derivatives (such as sugar, starch, and tomato paste) accidentally present in conventional food/ feed. It shall be 0.5% maximum. The threshold shall be reviewed as and when science and technology allow. In contrast, the Commission proposed an unspecified threshold level (to be defined in comitology) and the threshold proposed by the Commission would apply to live GMOs as well as GM derivatives.

The Commission did not foresee a review clause.

4. GMO producers shall take measures to avoid GM contamination:

All Green/EFA amendments were adopted which require GMO producers/ users to take anti-contamination measures. They shall take effective measures to prevent the unintended presence of their products in other conventional or organic products. This is a big step forward in the up coming co-existence debate.

5. GMO-free label:

The amendments calling for a GMO-free label were rejected. Now the onus and the costs shall remain with GMO producers rather than those who do not want to use GMOs.

Eluned Haf Press Office Green/ EFA group in the European Parliament ehaf@europarl.eu.int

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