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IFOAM EU Press Release: Freedom of choice on GMOs finds broad support in EU Parliament

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Press Release

International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements – EU Regional Group

Freedom of choice on GMOs finds broad support in EU Parliament

Commission and Council must now step forward in their role to strengthen the right for GMO free food

Brussels, 05/07/2011 – Today the European Parliament adopted its opinion on the possibility for Member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs in their territory. The IFOAM EU Group welcomes MEPs’ support for a change of EU legislation that would finally oblige all member states to take appropriate measures to avoid the unintended presence of GMOs in other products and to establish liability systems that would ensure that the polluter has to pay in cases of GMO contamination.

“The European Parliament strongly supported today the right of member states and EU citizens to stay GMO free,”states Marco Schlüter, Director of the IFOAM EU Group1. “This is a great step in the right direction. EU citizens and the whole food chain from plant breeders to farmers and retailers need a solid legal framework that guarantees them their right to opt for GMO free feed and food. This right is threatened by GMO contamination: Cases of GMO commingling in GMO-free products have already cost millions, till now mostly paid by farmers, food industry and taxpayers2. This problem must be addressed in all member states. Therefore the Council must now overcome its standstill on this issue and support the MEPs’ initiative to make measures that prevent GMO contamination, as well as clear liability rules, EU wide compulsory.”

“We also welcome that the European Parliament vote provides member states with a strengthened list of grounds and legal certainty to restrict or ban the cultivation of GMOs which strengthens the possibility to protect food production and environment in whole regions,” adds policy coordinator Antje Kölling. ”But despite the positive outcome of the vote, we must not forget that many other questions related to GMO in food, feed and on the fields finally need to be resolved. The IFOAM EU Group calls for a moratorium3 on GMO cultivation and GMO approvals as long as the EU legal framework dealing with GMOs does not guarantee the full protection of environment, human health, animal health and the economic viability of the GMO-free food and feed sector.”

More information:

IFOAM EU Group, phone + 32-2-280 12 23, Fax: +32-2-735 73 81,

info, www.ifoam-eu.org

110705-PR-GMO-Lepage-report.pdf

Author: C. Whitney

I am an Independent consultant working with Organic farmers, wild collectors and conservation oriented communities in SE Asia. - Organic Consultant and Researcher, PhD candidate, Couchsurfing Ambassador, MOFGA Member, IFOAM Member, Organic Group Manager...

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