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Concern at changes to regulation governing GM contamination

7 September, 2004

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has expressed concern at the approach being adopted by the European Commission to GM crops.

Ms de Brún said:

"The Commission will on Wednesday establish a threshold for GM contamination in seeds that will allow for unlabelled contamination of conventional and organic seeds.

"The outgoing Commissioner for Environment, Margot Wallström, will propose on Wednesday (September 8th) establishing minimum thresholds for adventitious or technically unavoidable traces of genetically modified seeds in other products at 0.3% for maize and oilseed rape. This threshold is too high to allow farmers to make an informed choice.

"Once this proposal is adopted by the Commission on Wednesday, only a 2/3 majority of the Council of Ministers can stop it from entering into force. The Commission, on its own, can push this through in spite of widespread opposition across Europe. Given the numbers of people who do not wish to sow GM crop it is vital that seeds be labelled at the practical detection level (0.1%).

"The Commission proposal on labelling of seeds could make it practically impossible to control and monitor GM releases into the environment and could lead to widespread and uncontrolled GM contamination throughout Europe." ENDS

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