6 December 1996

GMO-free campaign

ORGANIC farming leaders are set to launch a campaign to label food, not produced from genetically modified organisms, as GM0-free.

Organic production standards do not allow the use of GMOs, in any part of the food chain. And the Soil Association is set to capitalise on its stand by campaigning for a new GMO-free food label.

Patrick Holden Soil Association director said the issue had been debated within UKROFS, which agrees the standards for organic food, and it had agreed not to permit the use of GMOs including derivatives such as enzymes used as food processing aids.

A GMO-free label therefore did not need to be used on organic food, said Mr Holden. But it should be available for anybody who wanted to use it.

The strict organic standards also require any livestock producers using non-organic feed to ensure that it GMO-free.

Organic livestock rations can include 20% non-organic feed. But producers must be able to demonstrate, through the inspection audit, that non-organic ingredients do not run the risk of coming from any genetically modified source, said Mr Holden. That means organic producers using soya or maize would need to obtain a certificate stating it is GMO-free.