from FoE UK:
On 29 March the European Parliament will vote on Proposals for a Council Regulation on Organic Production and Labelling of Organic Products.
As of now the proposed legislation allows for 0.9% GM contamination of organic food without having to inform consumers. They seem to be basically interpreting the GM labelling threshold of 0.9% as the level of acceptable contamination.
We are calling on MEPs to support no GM contamination in organic food.
* Please send a letter to your MEP on Monday 19 March (or as soon as possible thereafter) asking them not to allow contamination of organic food. Simply add the names of individuals and organisations that are interested to the bootom of the attached letter and send it to your MEPs.
You can find out who your MEP is, and where to send the letter at:
It is really important to get our message out to MEPs as this may be one of the last chances we have to protect the organic sector from GM.
The vote will be preceded by a discussion on the proposed regulations in parliament on 28 March. The regulation and any amendments will then be finalised at the Agri Council meeting on the 16th and 17th of April.
We will keep you updated on any developments.
Best wishes, and thank you for all your help on the campaign.
Campaign Assistant - Real Food & Farming Team Friends of the Earth Leeds Office: 74 Kirkgate, LS2 7DJ
Tel: 0113 242 8153
Fax: 0113 242 8154
Re: Plenary vote on the Proposal for a Council Regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products
On the 29th of March the European Parliament will vote on the proposed Council Regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products (COM(2005)0671 C6-0032/2006 2005/0278(CNS)). I am concerned that in its current form, the regulation allows for a 0.9% threshold for the adventitious presence of GMOs in organic food without consumers being told.
Setting such a threshold would mean accepting GM contamination in organic food, with severe consequences for consumers and the organic sector. Consumers choose organic products because are grown in a more sustainable way, without the use of pesticides and are completely GMO-free. The organic food sector has demonstrated sustained and continued growth and the retail market for organic products in the UK is worth an estimated GBP1.213 billion pounds. I am convinced that allowing genetic contamination in organic products will put the survival of the organic sector under threat.
It is also worrying that the European Commission is interpreting the 0.9% threshold for labelling as a threshold for acceptable contamination. This approach, also used by the UK Government to justify coexistence legislation that routinely allows up to 0.9% GM contamination of non-GM crops has been showed to be, from a legal point of view "fundamentally flawed".
For these reasons I urge you to reject the current text and to support the one adopted unanimously by all political parties at the Environment Committee (Opinion 2005/0278(CNS)), presented to the Agriculture Committee as Amendment 41:
"In this Regulation, the labelling threshold for GMOs as defined in Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 March 2001 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms shall not apply".
We hope that in the interest of organic farming in the UK, of consumers who are increasingly choosing organic products and of people working in the sector you will oppose the inclusion of any genetic contamination threshold in the organic legislation.
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