Brussels, 15 Oct 2004
Denmark and Italy will use the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 18 and 19 October to request the establishment of a European task force on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), said officials on 14 October.
The two countries, both traditional opponents of biotech foods, will contend that the EU needs a special task force to assist member states in deciding how their farmers should separate conventional, organic and GM crops.
'This task force would ensure that the collection and dissemination of information be coordinated in the EU and contribute towards identifying research requirements concerning co-existence,' states the Danish delegation to the EU in a note, endorsed by Italy, to be read at the Council meeting on 18 October. The European Commission published guidelines on the coexistence of different crop types in July 2003 and left it up to national governments to create laws based on those guidelines. Denmark is one of the only countries to have done so.
Denmark and Italy both feel that in the absence of common EU rules, 'it is vital that common rules for coexistence be laid down' according to the Danish note.
It is expected that this request will win the backing of at least ten countries.
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