Organic growers must not use GM seeds in their production, but will be allowed up to 0.9% contamination of their grain with GM material before they lose their organic status.

Presenting the proposals to farm ministers in Brussels this week, EU agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said organic producers had to live in “the real world”.

The organic lobby was split between those who accepted 0.9% contamination and those who wanted the threshold at 0.1%.

“The lower we go, the more costly it will be for organic growers,” she said.