[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[SANET-MG] EU farm chief wants more GM in organics
EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel seems to have
originated from a planet separate from earth. She believes that organic
farmers will have to pay for avoiding GM pollution. In most terestial
societies there has been a legal principle that the polluter must pay,
not the polluted. It is ,of course, easy enough for politicians and
bureaucrats to send the bill for GM pollution to organic farmers but
shouldn't such bureaucrats and politicians be sent back to their home
EU farm chief defends more GMOs in organic farming
By Jeremy Smith
REUTERS, 23 January, 2006
BRUSSELS - Europe‘s farm chief defended her plans to permit more
genetically modified (GMO) content into organic farming on Monday,
saying it would be too costly for farmers to achieve higher purity in
their organic produce.
Questioned about her draft law that would allow products with up to 0.9
percent of GMO content to retain a label of "EU organic," EU Agriculture
Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said the recommended labeling
threshold was a realistic one.
"It's a standard threshold in the regulation," she told a news
conference, referring to the 0.9 percent label level that is already
enshrined in current EU law on biotech food and feed.
"We live in the real world. The lower we go (on a threshold), the more
expensive it will be for organic producers. We have to find the right
balance," she said.
Since some organic farmers might struggle financially to ensure their
produce met higher purity standards, they would then not be able to sell
that produce at the higher premium that organic items usually command --
and so lose income.
Fischer Boel's proposed organic regulation, now being considered by EU
agriculture ministers, would still make it illegal to use GMOs in
organic farming knowingly. The 0.9 percent level refers to accidental or
"The Commission has held firm on this so far and there are no signs of
them moving," one EU diplomat said.
"If you have a threshold for non-GM produce ... it's another step to say
that we'll have a different threshold for organic. It'll be a major
issue for some member states as this gets debated over the months," he
Environmental groups are outraged by the proposal, with one recently
attacking it as the "thin end of a wedge which will allow the creeping
contamination of organic food across Europe."
"Should GM contamination enter the organic food chain, organic farmers
will necessarily be economically damaged," the International Federation
of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) said in a statement.
"There has not been, and will not be, any tolerance at all for GMO
contamination of organic products," it said, adding that the EU had a
duty to ensure that all farmers who wanted to stay GMO-free were
properly protected in the event of contamination.
In the EU-25, the amount of organic farmland is around 5.7 million
hectares, or some 3.5 percent of its total agricultural area. Around
175,000 farms are now run organically.
To unsubscribe from SANET-MG:
1- Visit http://lists.sare.org/archives/sanet-mg.html to unsubscribe or;
2- Send a message to <firstname.lastname@example.org> from the address subscribed to the list. Type "unsubscribe sanet-mg" in the body of the message.
Visit the SANET-MG archives at: http://lists.sare.org/archives/sanet-mg.html.
Questions? Visit http://www.sare.org/about/sanetFAQ.htm.
For more information on grants and other resources available through the SARE program, please visit http://www.sare.org.