Food Law News - EU - 2006

Council Press Release, 19-21 December 2006

ORGANIC FOODS - Council Discussion on the Labelling of Organic Products

The following is taken from the report of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council Meeting:

The Presidency noted that the Council could support the general approach on the draft Regulation (16577/06 ADD1, ADD2and ADD3) pending the European Parliament's opinion. The upcoming German Presidency expressed its intention to reach an agreement on this file after the opinion of the European Parliament is made available (end of March 2007).

The following was issued prior to the meeting and gives some additional information:

Preparation Agriculture/Fisheries Council of December 2006 (MEMO/06/498), 18 December 2006

Organic products - production and labelling

On 21 December 2005, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new Regulation on organic production, which aims to improve clarity for both consumers and farmers (see IP/05/1679 and COM(2005)671). The new rules will be simpler, and will allow a certain amount of flexibility to take account of regional differences in climate and conditions. Producers of organic food will be able to choose whether or not to use the EU organic logo. If they choose not to, their products must be labelled EU-organic. At least 95 percent of the final product will have to be organic to be labelled as such. Products containing GMOs will not be able to be labelled as organic, except those containing up to 0.9 percent of GMO content through accidental contamination. Imports of organic products would be allowed, as long as they comply with EU standards.

The Council will hold a policy debate on the Commission proposal for a Regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products. The aim is to reach a general approach.

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