NOTE: MEPs backed an amendment (324 votes to 282, with 50 abstentions) seeking to reduce the threshold of accidental GM contamination of organic produce back from 0.9% to 0.1%. Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel has promised that "the Commission will take them on board" the Patrliament's amendments.
Soil Association welcomes European Parliament decision
PRESS RELEASE, 29 March 2007 http://www.soilassociation.org/web/sa/saweb.nsf/89d058cc4dbeb16d80256a73005a2866/dd5eed7b4a5d4b2b802572ad00584960!OpenDocument
Peter Melchett, policy director of the Soil Association, warmly welcomes the European Parliament decision to set the lowest possible threshold for GM contamination of organic food of 0.1 per cent. Peter says,
"David Miliband must now scrap the UK government proposal to allow almost 1 per cent GM contamination of organic food. His pro-GM position had been criticised by 74 major organic businesses, because people who eat organic food want to avoid all GM.
"The European Parliament has reached the right decision in line with what the people of Europe want. This decision guarantees a healthy, GM free future for the rapidly growing number of organic farmers in the UK."
The European Parliament position is mirrored by an all-party motion in the House of Commons tabled by the conservative front bench, which calls for the minimum, 0.1 per cent, contamination of organic.
Notes to editors:
Back in the 1990s, a Soil Association campaign to keep the UK GM-free attracted widespread public support and leads to a supermarket ban on GM ingredients from own-brand products. In 1998, the Soil Association challenged the government and GM seed companies in the high court to halt a GM trial threatening an organic grower, Guy Watson. Judges rule that the government has acted illegally.
Following widespread public opposition and negative impacts of GM field trials on the environment, the government announced in 2004 that GM crops will not be commercially grown in the UK in the foreseeable future.
For more information on GM visit