EU Organic Allows Trace Biotech Materials

Europe's farm chief's law would allow products with up to 0.9% of biotech contain to retain a label of EU organic. Compiled by staff 

Published on: Jan 25, 2006

European Union Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel floated a plan to permit more genetically modified content into organic farmer to keep organic farmers from enduring costly measures.

A draft law from Fischer Boel would allow products with up to 0.9% of biotech content to retain a label of "EU organic."

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 unavoidable contamination.

Reuters reports environmental groups are outraged by the proposal. One group went as far to say it is 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 says in a statement.

"There has not been, and will not be, any tolerance at all for GMO contamination of organic products," it says, 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.