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Farm ministers must guarantee the right of the food sector to stay GMO-free

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

The Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, John Dalli, has presented proposals on GMO cultivation from July 131 to the Farm Council , as well as a new “best practice document” for maize. “Commissioner Dalli is trying to snake his way through crucial GMO policies by attempting to satisfy all conflicting parties with his proposals to the Farm Council. But his approach still fails to solve the main problems“, comments Christopher Stopes, President of the IFOAM EU Group. “Consumers refuse to eat GMOs, which is their democratic right. Farmers want to meet the demand for GMO-free food, but they are facing increasing obstacles and costs to do so. Farmers need legal certainty, not only voluntary guidelines, to be able to stay in business. Therefore we call on farm ministers to defend the right of farmers to produce GMO-free food and to push for this legal certainty.”
 
Organic farmers in Spain gave up growing maize because of the high contamination risks and the fact that contamination with GMO maize has already happened. Many farmers face enormous costs as they have to import GMO-free and organic maize from abroad to feed their animals according to the organic rules and market demand”, adds Victor Gonzálvez, SEAE Spain; “EU-wide compulsory measures to prevent contamination as well as full liability of those who place GMO on the market for costs that non-GMO growers and processors face are long overdue. To avoid economic and social damage, the potential impacts of a new GMO on the GMO-free food and feed sector must already be considered in the authorisation procedures.”
 
“The European Coexistence Bureau did an extensive job with its maize best practice document, but we are disappointed by the fact that our concerns about the legal requirement to avoid all contamination in the harvest and about the real costs of e.g. machinery cleaning were not sufficiently considered”, adds Antje Kölling, Policy Coordinator IFOAM EU Group. “If the Commission speaks about coexistence, it must ensure the maintenance of GMO-free food and farming, not give way to commingling up to tolerance thresholds and increasing contamination.”

Source: IFOAM EU Group


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