Unauthorised GM crops

GM soya and maize currently enters Europe, including the UK, mainly for use in animal feed.

On 22nd February 2011, experts from EU member states voted to weaken GMO rules to allow contamination of animal feed with GMOs that have not been given any safety approval in Europe. The vote followed heavy lobbying by the GM industry. The Regulation was finally adopted by the EU on 24th June.

The Regulation ends the EU's 'zero tolerance' policy on non-authorised genetically modified (GM) material in feed. It allows unauthorised GM crops to be present at a level of 0.1%. It covers GM feed material authorised for commercialisation in a third country and for which an authorisation procedure is pending in the EU or for which the EU authorisation has expired. This could include a wide variety of crops engineered for industrial rather than food use (for example, for use in biofuels) or to be resistant to multiple herbicides.

The industry is lobbying for similar threshold for food imports. This is part of the discussions on trade issues between the US and the EU, and between Canada and the EU.


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