19 October 1999
EU urged to consider GM foods

THE European Commission is to ask the European Union member states to consider authorising three genetically modified products next week.

This is expected to provide the first test of government attitudes on GM products since June, when some environment ministers suggested a freeze on granting licences.

The three GM products being put forward to the EUs regulatory committee next Friday are a Monsanto sugar beet for animal fodder and two swede rapes put forward by AgrEvo.

EU governments have not approved any new GM products for more than a year and before that had only approved 18 of them.

This week, the EUs executive will also propose rules for the labelling of GM products.

They are expected to say that manufacturers have to make a declaration if more than 1% of any of the ingredients of the products are genetically modified.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds director of conservation ,writing in The Times, says it is “crucial” that the biotechnology industry extends the moratorium on GM crops until 2003.

He urges the UK government to vote against AgrEvos application to get commercial approval of the swede rapes in the EU.