EU decision on GM contamination ‘unacceptable’

Date Published: 13/07/2007

A leading organic certifier has today slammed a decision by EU agriculture ministers to allow 0.9% GM material in food labeled as organic.

Organic Farmers & Growers (OF&G) said the threshold was unacceptable to consumers and to the industry.

Under the regulations any processed food found to contain up to 0.9% genetically modified material could still be called organic, even though industry bodies and anti-GM campaigners had been fighting for a 0.1% level – the lowest it is possible to detect.

OF&G Chief Executive, Richard Jacobs, said today: “Organic food means no GMs. That is what the consumer expects and it’s what we should always be striving to deliver.

“As far as we are concerned, anyone who becomes aware of any GM contamination in food they produce should not be able to sell that food as organic, even if it’s accidental contamination. It doesn’t matter how it got there.

“People buy and eat organic food as a way of avoiding GM, if we allow it to be contaminated up to nearly 1% we are taking away that choice.”

Organic Farmers & Growers is one of the UK’s largest organic certification bodies, inspecting and licensing organic food, farming, cosmetic and body care products and other enterprises across the UK.

Along with other certifiers and environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth, OF&G has consistently called for Europe to opt for the 0.1% level as a reassurance to consumers that the industry is doing all it can to keep GMs out of the organic food chain.