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6-Regulation: EU GE food and feed regulation: Greenpeace, FoE, andEuropaBio



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                                  PART I
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TITLE:  Tougher European GMO legislation
        Slap in the face to US, Corporate interests
SOURCE: Greenpeace
        http://www.greenpeace.org/news/details?item%5fid=290260
DATE:   Jul 2, 2003

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Tougher European GMO legislation
Slap in the face to US, Corporate interests

Wed 02 July 2003 FRANCE/Strasbourg - The European Parliament today
adopted the world's toughest rules on the labelling of genetically
modified organisms (GMOs), despite intensified pressure from the US and
the GE industry. The new rules bring great news for EU consumers, farmers
and food producers - all food and animal feed containing GMOs must now be
clearly labelled. (In the US and Canada all such freedom and information
is currently denied.) It will also now be possible to trace products from
the field to the fork.

The new rules are a slap in the face for the US, which is doing its best
to forcefeed the world genetically engineered food after heavy lobbying
from biotechnology multinationals like Monsanto. The Bush government's
bully-boy tactics include waving the WTO stick - the US is challenging
the EU's policy on GMOs under the WTO's dispute resolution process,
thereby also threatening to undermine the Biosafety Protocol. The
Biosafety Protocol is the first legally binding global agreement that
allows countries to reject GMOs.

The EU public has been massively opposed to genetically engineered food,
since the first shipment of GE soya arrived in Europe in 1996. And it
shows no signs of decline, with European consumers consistently rejecting
GE food. Until now though, EU labelling rules had too many loopholes to
really keep GE products out of the shopping basket, since thousands of
products, such as oil, starch, and animal feed, didn't have to be
labelled. This is about to change.

Although the new rules are certainly a huge step forward, there are still
some significant loopholes. These include the fact that EU consumers
still won't be able to tell whether meat or dairy products come from
animals fed with GMOs.

Another concern is that EU member states will not be obliged to act
against the contamination of conventional or organic agriculture with
GMOs. They "may", rather than "shall" take action to prevent neighbouring
farms from being contaminated.

The GE industry is continuing to play around with exactly how much
contamination would require labelling. They want an upwardly creeping
threshold that will undermine the reliability of the label and keep the
doors open to further invasion of GE crops in the future. We're therefore
calling for measures to prevent any genetic contamination in seeds, with
legally binding anti-contamination measures.

GE producers like Monsanto should also be financially liable for
potential losses that farmers suffer as a result of genetic
contamination. Seems reasonable, doesn't it? But in the US and Canada,
it's the producers who are suing the farmers! In once case, Monsanto sued
a Canadian farmer for failing to enter into an agreement to pay royalties
when pollen from a neighbouring farm drifted and propagated on his rape
(canola) field.

"Preventing genetic contamination should now be the number one priority
for the EU. If nothing is done to protect conventional and organic crops
from genetic contamination, the new labelling system will actually be at
risk of becoming useless after a few years because it will be
increasingly hard to secure GMO-free supplies," says Eric Gall,
Greenpeace's EU Advisor on genetic engineering.

Consumer antipathy towards GMOs remains entrenched in the EU and will
determine the market. Only recently the British Retail Consortium (BRC),
representing 90% of high-street shops in the UK, made clear that
'supermarkets are not going to give shelf space to something that doesn't
sell.' A recent Greenpeace survey among food companies in Germany showed
that 170 out of 216 companies asked for produce without any GE
ingredients. Only 18 companies do not want to exclude GE food.

*****


links:

- Briefing: The European Union's new labelling rules for genetically
engineered food and feed - Implications for the market of GMO and non-GMO
products.

- Take action: join Friends of the Earth's cyberaction against the latest
Bush government-led attempt to bulldoze other countries' rights to reject
GMOs.

- The European Union's new labelling rules for food and feed -
Implications for the market of GMO and non-GMO products

- The US War on Biosafety - Renewed Aggression by a Rogue State


                                  PART II
-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------

TITLE:  MEPs BACK TOUGHER GM LABELS NEW EU LEGISLATION GIVES STATES POWER
TO RESTRICT GMOs
SOURCE: Friends of the Earth Europe, Press Release
        http://www.foeeurope.org/press/2003/GR_2_july_mep.htm
DATE:   Jul 2, 2003

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MEPs BACK TOUGHER GM LABELS NEW EU LEGISLATION GIVES STATES POWER TO
RESTRICT GMOs

 Strasbourg, 2 July 2003. The European Parliament's vote in favour of
allowing member states to take action to prevent contamination from
genetically modified (GM) crops has been warmly welcomed by Friends of
the Earth Europe.

The MEPs also voted for tougher labelling of GM food and traceability of
crops. GM animal feed will now have to be labelled for the first time.

The vote on preventing contamination now gives countries the power to
impose strict restrictions on GM crops in order to protect organic and
conventional crops. EU research has consistently stated that
contamination will be widespread if commercial growing of GMO crops
increased. But until now member states have been virtually powerless to
take preventative action.

Although the new legislation is an important step in the right direction
Friends of the Earth is nevertheless concerned that:

 *

 The threshold for GMO contamination is too high. MEPs compromised with
Ministers and agreed on 0.9%.Current testing techniques can reliably
detect GM s low as 0.1%;

* The contamination of food and crops by unlicensed GM material will be
allowed for 3 years;

* Member states "may", rather than "shall", take action to prevent
contamination of neighbouring farms. Friends of the Earth is also calling
for strict liability to make biotech companies liable for any
contamination or environmental problems.

The new rules will now go to the Council of EU Agricultural Ministers,
probably in July. If the Council agrees (which is almost certain), the
new proposals will be operational in the autumn of 2003.

Geert Ritsema, GMO Campaign Coordinator of Friends of the Earth Europe
said : "This new legislation is a welcome step in the right direction and
will allow countries to take action to protect our food and farming from
genetic pollution. It will also give consumers and farmers more
information so that they can choose whether or not to take part in the
biotech industry's massive GM experiment. But there are still gaping
holes in the legislation, particularly over liability. The EU must make
biotech companies fully liable for their actions before any GM food or
crop is approved."

Contact: Geert Ritsema, in Strasbourg: 00-31-6-290 05 908 (mobile) Adrian
Bebb, GMO campaigner: 00-49-1609 490 11 63 (mobile) Friends of the Earth
is the largest grassroots environmental network in the world campaigning
to protect the environment and to create sustainable societies. Friends
of the Earth Europe (FoEE) unites more than 30 national member groups
with thousands of local groups.



                                  PART III
-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------

TITLE:  
SOURCE: EuropaBio, Press Release, www.europabio.org
DATE:   Jul 2, 2003

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EU moratorium can be lifted as European Parliament votes yes to new GM rules

Strasbourg, 2 July 2003: Today, the European Parliament voted strict new
standards for the approvals of GM crops and GM derived foods, including
more extensive labelling requirements. "The good news is that Parliament
voted against the extreme amendments of the Environment Committee that in
effect would ban genetic modification from being used in agriculture, and
GM products from being offered to European consumers," said Simon Barber,
Director of the Plant Biotechnology Unit at EuropaBio (1).

The new GM Food and Feed and Traceability and Labelling rules are the
most broad ranging laws in the world. They are the result of more than
two years of hard negotiations amongst the Commission, the Council and
the Parliament that resulted in a compromise agreement. The adoption of
these two regulations completes the legislative package that a group of
Member States had demanded before the de facto moratorium on approvals of
new GM crops could be lifted. "The new rules will impose a heavy
regulatory burden on the agri-food chain, and are not all that we had
wanted. But at least an agreement has been reached that will allow the
new and pending applications (2) in the pipeline to move forward," says
Simon Barber.

The agreed regulation foresees a review after two years of
implementation. "It is welcome that the Member States have left
themselves the opportunity to review the efficiency of the traceability
and labelling requirements. Between now and then, the whole food and feed
chain will have to work very hard to implement the new rules" says Simon
Barber.

 For further information, contact

Strasbourg: Simon Barber, Mobile: +32 476 44 24 20
Brussels: Adeline Farrelly, Tel: +32 2 735 0313 Mobile: +32 475 93 17 24

About EuropaBio
EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, has 35 corporate
members operating worldwide and 21 national biotechnology associations
representing some 1200 small and medium sized enterprises involved in
research and development, testing, manufacturing and distribution of
biotechnology products.
www.europabio.org
http://gmoinfo.jrc.it




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GENET
European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
Kleine Wiese 6
D - 38116 Braunschweig
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