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Biotech Labeling Agreement Reached

November 29, 2002

Source: Farm Progress

Ministers in Europe have been wrangling over the biotech labeling issue for four years and it looks like they've reached a decision. According to Dow Jones newswires, the 15 ministers have agreed that food or animal feed can include up to 0.9% biotech material before it has to be labeled as containing genetically modified organisms.

The group of had been split with one group of seven pushing for 0.5% threshold while the rest sought 1%. The compromise gets the measure moving forward and may actually turn loose other actions in this area.

While the final number is a compromise for all, it looks like the green supports are happy. The article quotes a Greenpeace advisor on GMOs saying "this will send a strong message to commodity exporting nations such as the USA, Canada, Argentina and Brazil...the times when you could sneak millions of tons of GM soybean and maize unlabeled into the food chain are definitely over."

The EU parliament must still vote on this compromise and that group has been pushing for more stringent standards. We'll keep you posted on Europe's progress in this area.