EU allows untested GM crops into the food chain
Greenpeace International, 22 February 2011
*Zero tolerance approach to GM contamination in animal feed dropped
Brussels - A vote by EU member state representatives today has ended Europe’s zero tolerance approach to untested GM crops in animal feed and opened the door to contamination of the food chain, said Greenpeace.
Any feed shipment contaminated by unauthorised GM crops was until now refused entry to the European market. But the new rules, adopted today and expected to come into force in early summer 2011, will allow contamination of up to 0.1% by crops that have not undergone safety testing in Europe. In an apparent concession to France and other EU countries initially opposing the plan, untested crops pending authorisation in the EU for at least three months will be let through, but with no guarantee that they subsequently will be declared safe.
Europe imports large quantities of animal feed from the United States, Brazil and Argentina, where 80% of the world’s GM crops are grown. European governments have come under pressure from the United States and the animal feed industry to relax its rules to allow more GM crops into the market.
The feed industry claims that the continuation of a zero tolerance approach to contamination would result in shortages in animal feed. But EU figures show that cases of contamination in shipments for the livestock industry are extremely rare. Since mid-September 2009, no shipments of soy a major ingredient in animal feed were rejected at EU borders because of contamination by untested GM crops. 
Greenpeace EU agriculture policy adviser Stefanie Hundsdorfer said: “If the safety of a GM crop has not been tested in Europe, it should not be allowed. Setting a tolerance threshold, however low, is a sign that Europe is losing control over its own food production to please American exporters. The danger now is that EU countries come under pressure from the pro-GM lobby to also allow GM contamination in food products for direct human consumption.”
Notes to Editor
 European Commission Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/rapidalert/rasff_portal_database_en.htm
* Mark Breddy
Telephone: +32 2 274 19 03/ Mobile:+32 496 15 62 29
* Stefanie Hundsdorfer
EU Political Advisor
Telephone: (32) 2 274 19 20/ Mobile phone: 0496 16 15 82
*For breaking news and comment on EU affairs, go to: www.twitter.com/GreenpeaceEU
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