Economic and Social Committee adopts opinion on GM labelling

June 5, 2002

Brussels, 04 June 2002

An opinion calling for the labelling of all food and feed containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) was adopted by the European Economic and Social Committee at a plenary session on 30 May.

The document, adopted by 53 votes to 40, welcomes the proposal to label food and feed products which contain one per cent or more of genetically modified material. It recommends that a set of standards be developed for application to imported GM products which are approved in their country of origin but not in the EU.

Addressing the plenary session, rapporteur Sandra Thomas said a majority of agriculture section members felt that all GM products should be labelled. She added: 'The most important question here is: which products are GM products? The answer is: all products made from GM material.'

Although a number of members took the view that labelling is not necessary when only minute traces of GM material are present in otherwise GM-free food, a majority considered that the labelling of GM products should be extended to all foods and animal feed that have been produced with GMOs. This includes produce which has been manufactured with GM food processing aids such as enzymes as well as non-GM enzymes which have been produced from GM micro-organisms. This extension would enable consumers to be fully aware of the application of genetic engineering throughout the food product chain and enable them to make a more informed choice, according to the opinion.

For further information, please contact:

Comité Economique et Social Européen
Rue Ravenstein, 2
B-1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 546 9393

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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