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7-Misc: European Society of Chartered Surveyors calls for GM land register

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TITLE:  European GM land registers "vital component of EU
        legislative review", says ESCS
SOURCE: European Society of Chartered Surveyors (ESCS),
        Press Release
DATE:   June 28, 1999

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The European Society of Chartered Surveyors (ESCS) is calling on
the European Union to establish registers of land growing
commercially approved Genetically Modified (GM) crops in all
Member States.

The registers would serve to provide part of a robust system of
traceability for GM crops and food necessary to:
- address environmental and health problems arising from GM crops
  after their approval;
- protect farmers, food processors and retailers wishing to
  supply GM-free food products.

The ESCS believes it is essential that each Member State
maintains a detailed map based register of all land used for GM
crops. Such registers would enable a person to check whether GM
crops had previously been grown on land, or in the vicinity of
that land. It would also enable a prospective buyer of land to
check whether land had been used for GM crops.
The information on the registers should include, inter alia, the 
location of the crop, the type of the crop, the nature of the
modification and dates of sowing. The registers should be
publicly and readily available free of charge and maintained by
the Government or a public body in each Member State. This
information is also likely to be required by European financial
institutions providing any funding for the agriculture industry
which is secured against the value of farmland.

Brian Berry, Head of European Policy for the ESCS in Brussels
"The maintenance of consumer choice and protection is of
paramount importance, as shown by the various food scares across
Europe in recent weeks. Given the international nature of the
food chain, accurate and transparent records of GM crops grown
across Europe are essential to avoid unnecessary problems in the
future in the event that commercial plantings are eventually
permitted. It is vital that this concept is incorporated into the
review of the EU GM regulations recently announced by the Council
of Environment Ministers."


Notes to editor:
The European Society of Chartered Surveyors (ESCS) is the
European arm of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
(RICS) which represents some 100 000 members: 75,000 chartered
surveyors, 5000 technical surveyors and 20 000 students and
probationers. They practice throughout the world in six property
markets: commercial property, construction, land use planning,
minerals, residential and rural property.

Further information can be obtained from:
Brian Berry
Head of European Policy European Society of Chartered Surveyors
Avenue de la Joyeuse Entrée 1/5
1040 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 230 1449
Fax: +32 2 230 7917


Mark Griffiths
European Rural Policy Advisor to the ESCS in Brussels
Tel: +44 1962 842 233 

-| Hartmut Meyer
-| Co-ordinator
-| The European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering
-| Reinhaeuser Landstr. 51
-| D - 37083 Goettingen
-| Germany
-| phone: #49-551-7700027
-| fax  : #49-551-7701672
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