French GM-free label for meat, eggs and fish
TAKE ACTION: If you're in the UK, tell the supermarkets, you want animal products free of GMOs and clearly labelled to show it, as is now happening in Germany, Austria, Italy and France.
NATIONAL CONSUMER COUNCIL: A STEP TOWARDS "GM-FREE" LABELLING FOR ANIMAL PRODUCTS
By Christopher Noisette
Inf'OGM Bulletin no. 21 [France], June 2009
[English translation provided by GM-free Ireland]
[France's] National Consumer Council (CNC) has finally issued an opinion "regarding the promotion of supply chains which avoid the use of GMOs" . Thus, on 27 May 2009, the CNC announced its position in favour of GM-free ["sans OGM"] labelling for certain products (meat, eggs, fish) produced from livestock fed without GM animal feed, to emphasise the value of this absence of GMOs.
The CNC specifies that this labelling "must remain voluntary, and should not constitute a requirement for market access. Such emphasis must not denigrate products from livestock fed with GMOs or products bearing the new claim".
The CNC also points out that similar voluntary labelling has already been implemented in Germany , Austria and Italy, and that the CNC - which wants "to avoid distortions of competition between countries and simplify the rules of the game for operators throughout the European territory, [...] - consequently reaffirms the need for a European harmonisation in this matter (conditions for implementation, scope, claims) in the single market."
In this opinion, the labelling does not concern all animal products. The CNC clearly specifies that "this claim applies at least to unprocessed raw materials, whether packaged or not, produced from livestock (meats, including slaughtered animals and poultry; aquatic animals; eggs). The definition of "unprocessed products" adopted by the CNC is that of EC Regulation no. 852/2004, article 2.1 (n) on the hygiene of foodstuffs", that is to say that it excludes, for example, prepared meals as well as milk and dairy produce which are regarded as processed products.
In order to be able to carry a "GM-free" [Non-GMO] type of label, the product must come from an animal which has been fed either on plant materials for which no GMO varieties exist, or on plant materials "with an adventious presence of GMOs less than 0.9%" and this "during their entire life, at least for animals with a short life-span. Regarding animals with a long production cycle such as ruminants, the CNC favours a minimum feeding period equal to three-quarters of the animal's life-span.
This opinon will soon be transmited to the High Council of Biotechnologies, which will, turn, issue an opinion on this matter.
 cf. Germany - official text of the law on GMOs: