07 August 1997
GM crops production expands
PRODUCTION of genetically modified crops is expanding rapidly.
About 12% of this years US soya-bean crop is genetically altered compared with 2% in 1996.
Consumer and environmental groups continue to have concerns about genetically modified (GM) products long-term effect on health.
Proposed European legislation will be unveiled in the autumn on a compulsory labelling system for all products which “do” or “may” contain GM organisms. There will also be details of a voluntary scheme for products which “do not” contain them.
The European Commission earlier dropped proposals that GM crops be segregated from conventional ones from the planting stage after fierce lobbying by the US.
Brussels hopes some suppliers will want to offer produce that they guarantee is unmodified. Like organically-grown food, unmodified food could command higher premiums on the market.