EU food/feed industries want GMO flexibility
Europe's grain and food sector have joined forces to demand tolerance for
minimal amounts of genetically modified material not yet allowed in EU
EU feedmakers have long complained of problems sourcing raw material, warning
that the consequences of Europe's extreme caution and "zero tolerance" of
unauthorised GMOs, could be disastrous for the food and feed
Europe's food safety chief Markos Kyprianou has already promised
to draft a proposal before early August that would permit very limited amounts -
less than one percent - of unauthorised GM material to be detected in imports of
foods like maize, rice and soybeans.
EU law sets a threshold of 0.9
percent for GM material in food and feed, above which a cargo must be labelled
"It is simply impossible to guarantee the total absence of GM
traces from countries where GM crops are widely grown," said Ruth Rawling,
chairwoman of the food and feed safety unit at Coceral, the EU's major grain
trade lobby, in a statement.
The problem for GM crop-growing countries,
in particular the United States, Canada and Argentina, is that EU law at the
moment does not tolerate the accidental presence of unauthorised GMOs that have
been approved elsewhere.
That has led to cargoes of rice and grain
arriving at EU ports being impounded by local authorities if sampling shows the
presence of unauthorised GM material, disrupting trade flows.
statement was published jointly by Coceral, the EU's main food industry
association CIAA, animal feed manufacturers' body FEFAC, the Federation of
European Rice Millers, as well as flour and maize millers'
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