Chance to get labels on foods from animals fed GM
Our Chance to Get Labels on Foods from Animals fed GM (and keep clones out of the food chain)
*EU Parliament Vote on Novel Food Regulation
*Deadline for Action: 6 July
On 7 July 2010 the plenary of the European Parliament will vote on significant amendments to the Novel Food Regulations overwhelmingly supported by the EU Environment Committee in May. They are:
1) a new requirement that all foods produced from animals fed GM to carry a label saying so (specifically Amendment 82)
2) an opposition to any authorisation to use foods derived from cloned animals and their descendants and a request to the Commission to come up with a separate proposal prohibiting this outright (specifically Amendments 11, 14, 40 and 74)
3) a requirement that foods produced by nanotechnology should undergo specific risk assessment before being put on the market and should not be approved until then (specifically Amendments 73 and 81).
(See full texts at www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2009_2014/documents/envi/pr/810/810811/810811en.pdf)
Negotiations among the "Triologue" (the Parliament, Commission and Council of Ministers) failed to achieve an agreement that would put these measures into affect, so the amendments will now be voted on formally by the Parliament on 7 July.
We are asking you to write to your MEPs to urge them to support ALL of the proposals, and not to permit the GM vote to be separated from the others, which may be proposed.
The sticking point on a negotiated agreement appears to be the request to the Commission for legislation on cloning. Only the Commission has the power to initiate legislation, but our information is they have made it clear they have no intention of legislating against clones in the food chain. The Parliament wants a public debate on the issue, and the Council agrees that separate legislation is needed, but they have no power to force the Commission to bring forward legislation. It is hoped a firm vote from the Parliament will add weight to further talks.
For further background see www.gmfreeze.org/page.asp?ID=425 and www.euractiv.com/en/cap/meps-restate-opposition-food-derived-cloned-animals-news-493708
Furthermore, GM Freeze understands that some political groupings in the Parliament may attempt to separate out the vote on GM feed labels. This would make it easier to accept the rest of the amendments while dropping the requirement for labels on foods from animals fed GM. Other Parliamentary groupings are very clear that all of the proposals must go through as a package and are mindful that labels have been supported in the past, then blocked. It is hoped the Parliament’s new powers will help overcome any such obstacles this time. If the amendments are approved (considered likely given the Parliament’s past positions), and if the Council sticks to its position, the whole dossier will be put through a conciliation procedure.
Please write to your MEPs (you can find them at www.writetothem.com/) and:
1) ask them to SUPPORT the full package of amendments, including those listed above (ie, to prevent food from clones entering the food chain until a legal ban is in place, to require separate safety assessments for foods made using nanotechnology and to prevent authorisation until this happens and to require foods from animals fed a GM diet to carry a label).
2) ask them to REJECT any initiative to separate the vote on GM labelling and/or
3) ask them to SUPPORT in any GM label vote that may be separated Amendment 82 (Article 9 paragraph 2e (new)):
"2e. Products produced from animal fed with genetically modified feeding stuffs must be labelled with the words ‘produced from animal fed with genetically modified feeding stuffs’."
4) ENSURE that the regulation applies to all catering establishments across the EU.
5) Please tell your MEPs that a new NOP poll found that:
- 89% of shoppers want these labels,
- 72% are prepared to pay extra to get food from animals fed a non-GM food diet, although we think the GM industry should bear the cost of separating out its unwanted products. (see www.gmfreeze.org/page.asp?ID=436&iType=1083 for details)
6) Rather than hide GM, it is only fair to let consumers see where GM feed is used so the market can decide if it is acceptable or not.
This vote could move to close the loophole that allows GM soya and maize to enter the EU food chain as animal feed unnoticed by the public. It will provide the EU public with a genuine choice as to whether they wish to buy products produced using GM crops and enable farmers and retailers to provide crystal clear information on packs.
Many thanks for your help.
Coordinator GM Freeze