GENTECH archive 8.96-97


Fwd: Press release re: EU vote on Genetically engineered food

Forwarded message:
From: (Reclaim the Streets!)
Date: 97-01-17 07:56:42 EST

>>From 65535  Thu Jan 16 17:41:21 1997
>Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997 17:45:04 +0000
>From: (Jim Thomas)
>Subject: Press release re: EU vote on Genetically engineered food
>Content-Description: cc:Mail note part
>     For immediate release:
>     16th January 1997
>     The European Parliament has today bowed to American pressure by voting 
>     in a new regulation which relaxes labelling laws on genetically 
>     engineered (GE) food products.
>     The Novel Food Regulation will allow most GE foods to be sold without 
>     being labelled.  It weakens, yet further, any element of consumer 
>     choice or protection.  This is despite a recent European vote calling 
>     for segregation and labelling of GE soya.
>     Responding to the announcement, Greenpeace GE Team Director Sarah 
>     Burton said, "Europe has caved in to the Americans. This vote is a 
>     devastating blow for consumers and the environment.  We are entitled 
>     to choose whether or not we take part in this genetic experiment, it 
>     is outrageous that it should be forced on us.  The European Parliament 
>     has failed to guarantee that GE food is safe  - how can they force it 
>     onto us without that guarantee?"
>     Rather than strengthening controls on safety, the Novel Food 
>     Regulation allows manufacturers of many GE foods to market their 
>     product with nothing more than a notification to the Commission.  Only 
>     a fraction of the products will have to be labelled and the wording 
>     will largely be left to the manufacturers.  
>     Details of  how the Regulation will be implemented are still to be 
>     released.   The Parliament has adopted it without knowing, for 
>     instance, what information a manufacturer must provide to the 
>     Commission to determine its labelling status.
>     MORE/2...
>     ...Europe caves into American pressure/2
>     Existing national regulations relating to GE labelling will no longer 
>     apply and no national state will be able to impose stronger labelling 
>     laws. The Netherlands, which passed national legislation requiring all 
>     GE products to be labelled, will now be over ruled
>     The only way the British public can be protected from unlabelled GE 
>     foods now, is through the use of Article 16 of the EU Directive on 
>     deliberate releases of  Genetically Modified Organisms.  If invoked, 
>     this would ban the import of all such products into the UK.   Sarah 
>     Burton said, "If John Gummer's actions are to live up to his words, he 
>     will take immediate action to invoke Article 16 and put a stop to this 
>     threat".
>     ends
>     Notes to correspondents:
>     1) On 4th December 1996 on  the `Jimmy Young Show', John Gummer 
>     promised that the European Union would not be pushed around by 
>     America.
>     2)  Last week Greenpeace released a MORI survey which found that  78% 
>     of those surveyed in Sweden, 77% in France, 65% in Italy and Holland, 
>     63% in Denmark, and 53% in Great Britain were "not happy to eat 
>     genetically engineered food."   In a previous study 78% of those 
>     surveyed in Germany were opposed to food derived from genetic 
>     engineering.
>     For further information please contact the Greenpeace Press Office on 
>     0171-865 8256/7 or 0171-359 4837

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