02 June 2003 00:00 [Source: ICB]The European Parliament's environment committee has demanded that legislative and not voluntary measures are required to control potential accidental GM contamination of non-GM crops. In a recent meeting it also called for a ban on the presence of unauthorised GM organisms (GMOs), the effective segregation of GM crops from conventional produce and a 0.5% limit above which GM food and feed must be labelled.
Geert Ritsema, a spokesman for Friends of the Earth (FoE), said the meeting provided 'a clear political sign the European Commission cannot deny'.
The environment committee's declarations continue the war of words between the European Union and the US over GM crops. As reported in ECN last month the US administration has decided to bring a case against the EU over its ban on GM food. It believes the EU's moratorium on commercial development is an illegal trade barrier under World Trade Organisation rules.
More bad news for North American GM supporters came in a demand by the Canadian Wheat Board to Monsanto Canada that it should withdraw its application to test genetically modified wheat. Monsanto declined to comment on this and the outcome of the environment committee meeting.
The CWB fears that some countries' laws will not allow the wheat to be imported while consumers worry over health and environmental implications.
The US Congress has also been blamed by FoE for linking AIDS and famine relief assistance for Africa with the acceptance of GMOs.
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