Food Law News - EU - 2003

EP Daily Report, 4 December 2003

ORGANIC FOOD - Organic production of agricultural products

Report on the proposal for a Council regulation amending Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 on organic production of agricultural products and indications referring thereto in agricultural products and foodstuffs

Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution which supports in general terms the Commission proposal to reinforce the "eco" label by defining what kind of products can be considered as ecological products. However MEPs adopted today some amendments to make sure that only organic agricultural products can be labelled as "bio" or "eco". The firm Danone, for example, will no longer be able to use the word "bio" for its yoghurts if they are not produced with organic products.

A politically sensitive amendment seeking the protection of organic farmers against GMO contamination, by introducing the concept of civil liability, was rejected today. Since the rules on organic farming require products to be GMO-free, and accidental contamination from GMOs is likely to happen in the future when organic crops and genetically modified crops are produced in the same area, the rapporteur had demanded that "in the event of products being disqualified as a result of contamination by, for example, GMOs, making them incompatible with this Regulation, compensation shall be provided by the polluter (either the producer using GMOs or the seed producer supplying such seed to farmers)".

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