Commission Agenda Entry: Wed 5 and Thurs 6 April: Vienna conference on co-existence of GM crops with conventional and organic agriculture

March 21, 2006

Brussels, 20 Mar 2006

The news:

  • In 2003, the Commission adopted a Recommendation to help all Member States develop national strategies and laws to ensure the effective co-existence of genetically modified crops with conventional and organic agriculture.
  • On 10th March, the Commission published a factual report on the progress the Member States have made in implementing national rules, which summed up the experience gained so far.
  • The Commission believes that the development of EU-wide legislation on co-existence is not justified at this time, in view of the EU’s limited experience with the cultivation of GM crops and the need to conclude the process of introducing national measures.
  • However, the Commission wishes to hear the views of all stakeholders. That is why this conference has been organised together with the Austrian EU presidency.
  • To date, commercial cultivation of GMOs in the EU is relatively limited, with Spain the main producer of GM maize in the EU.
  • The development of efficient and cost-effective strategies to ensure co-existence is vital to ensure a practical choice between GM and non-GM produce for farmers and consumers.
  • Measures must be put in place to ensure that accidental mixing of GM and non-GM products is kept to an absolute minimum.
  • This is not a question of health or environmental protection, because no GMOs are allowed on the EU market unless they have been proved to be completely safe.
  • Co-existence measures are designed to ensure that GM crops can be grown along with non-GM crops without negative economic consequences caused by accidental mixing of the two.

The event:
Conference in Vienna.
Press release at start of conference.
Press conferences at start and at end of conference.

The sources:
IP/03/1096
European Commission website on agriculture:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/
European Commission website on environment:
http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/environment/index_en.htm
[Graphic in PDF & Word format] Two Infoclips GMO

The contacts:
Michael Mann +32 2 299 99780, Johan Reyniers +32 2 295 6728

Item source: AGENDA/05/9

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