Greenpeace attacks EU delay on GMO labelling

Environmental group proposes own policy as criteria for maize, soya labelling delayed

Environmental group Greenpeace today drew attention to EU governments' lack of progress in agreeing rules for the labelling of genetically modified products by publishing its own policy and logo. In September, the European Commission adopted a regulation requiring labelling from 1 November of products containing a modified soya developed by Monsanto and a type of maize developed by Novartis (ENDS Daily 25 September). This retroactively applied the requirements of the EU's novel foods regulation to these two crop varieties because they were on the market before the regulation came into effect. But member states have complained that the criteria establishing what labels should say and the tests to be used to distinguish modified from unmodified crop have still to be decided. A spokesman for the Commission's industry directorate confirmed the delay in deciding criteria, saying they may now be adopted in December. But, he said, for the majority of products member states could "with a minimum of goodwill" proceed with labelling anyway. Greenpeace wants all products containing or made with modified substances to be segregated and labelled, even if the genetic modification is not detectable in the final product.

Follow Up:
Greenpeace International, tel: +31 20 523 6222.

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