5 July 2002

Tighter GM control call

EURO-MPs have voted for stricter rules on tracing and labelling food products containing GMOs, as legislation designed to free-up the licensing process continues its passage through Brussels.

A moratorium has been in place since mid-1999, with several member states saying no to any new GMO approvals until the laws are tightened.

Last year the commission put forward proposals to achieve this, calling for a "farm to table" audit and mandatory labelling of food.

The plans also called for labelling of animal feed, but exempted meat, milk and eggs from animals fed GMOs.

They also allowed for up to 1% accidental inclusion of GM material without having to declare it on a label.

But the European parliamentthis week voted through a number of key amendments, including a lowering of the labelling threshold to 0.5% accidental inclusion.

They also rejected a commission proposal that would allow up to 1% inclusion of the 14 GM products that have been declared safe by EU scientists, but have not received licences due to the moratorium. &#42

The legislation will now go to environment ministers for their input.