EU asks citizens to weigh in on GM and organic food policy

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

EU calls for public views on GM and organic food

Related tags Gm crops Organic farming Genetically modified organism European union

The European Commission has called for public views on genetically modified (GM) foods in the European Union, as part of a survey examining attitudes to organic agriculture legislation.

The consultation​, which is open until April 10, invites European citizens, organisations and public authorities to complete a questionnaire covering topics from organic farming methods and co-existence of organic and GM crops, to international trade arrangements and labelling rules.

The EC says that organic farming currently only accounts for about 5% of all farmland in the European Union, but says “the sector is driven by ever-increasing consumer demand.”

“In the current economic downturn, will consumers continue to turn towards a more sustainable lifestyle and higher consumption of organic products?”​ it asks.

It begins by asking consumers if and why they buy organic foods, including whether they buy organic foods specifically because they are ‘GMO-free’ according to the current definition.

The survey also explains that there is no need to mention GM material on a product label if the total amount accounts for less than 0.9% of the finished food. It asks whether consumers would tolerate higher prices if stricter limits were imposed for accidental presence of GMOs.

It also identifies co-existence of organic and GM crops as a key issue for the development of organic farming.

In addition, the questionnaire requests opinions on the harmonisation of organic regulations throughout the EU and their potential effect on small firms, and whether organic foods should be subject to stricter limits for pesticide residues than conventionally grown foods.

The survey is available on the EC’s Agriculture and Rural Development website here​. It says that the survey will provide input to the Commission at an early stage in the policy making process, and that results will be made available on its website.

Related topics Policy Organics GM food

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Better Health in 2013

Posted by John Fryer,

My own personal health has been notably increased in recent years by the increased use of organic food and the refusal to eat anything made from maize or soya. France made to import GMO products by force of law from the USA!

Impossible to prove but the method of effectively bleeding an unwanted insect to death from Bt GMO technology and a coincident cause of unknown bleeding in myself and a number of friends here in France is a coincidence too far for me.

USA birthplace and greatest user of GMO food is now also DEAD LAST in the health of like inductrial countries.

USA poorer health, shorter lives is now FACT!

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Sounds like Prop 37 of CA people at work

Posted by K. H.,

These questions are made to sound as if citizens of the EU reject GM foods, their prices will be higher. Smells bad. That is the ploy they used in CA to make Prop 37 fail. Hopefully, Europeans are smarter than that. Cheaper food now, perhaps, but higher prices paid at the doctor, or with your life, later.

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