have rejected a proposal calling for compulsory labelling of food products
that derive from animals raised on genetically-modified crops.
European rules oblige supermarkets and manufacturers to label any food containing
raw GM ingredients, such as corn or soy, but there is no obligation when
consumers buy foods that have been reared on GM feed.
yesterday (Wednesday, July 7) means supermarkets can continue to sell food
from animals reared on GM food without informing the consumer.
estimated that up to 90 per cent of meat imported into the EU has been fed
on GM feed varieties. While the majority of Briton’s livestock farmers
are also reliant on the imported GM feed.
a recent survey by Friends of the Earth revealing fewer than 40 per cent
of the public were aware that UK livestock were fed on GM diets and 90 per
cent wanted to be informed, MEPs have not relented.
Parliament vote comes a week after Defra failed in its attempts to approve
the import of six new types of GM maize feed for farmers.
minsters gathered in Luxembourg last week to vote on the GM feed which is
grown in the major exporting countries of the US and Brazil.
voted in favour of the feed, along with 12 other member states, but the
remaining 14 members voted against or abstained.
came despite warnings from EU Health and Consumer Commissioner John Dalli,
and others within the livestock industry, that a refusal to grant an approval
could lead to a repeat of last year’s disruption to feed imports and
an increase in prices.
campaigner Pete Riley from GM Freeze said the vote reflected public concern.
are hugely disappointed that the UK coalition government has chosen to back
the Commission instead of standing up for what consumers want.
in the UK clearly do not want GM anywhere near their food,” he said.
the EU’s 27 farm ministers failed to reach a decision, however, the
honour will now rest with the European Commission to make the final call.
is likely to approve the applications, especially given its scientific advisors,
the European Food Safety Authority, has already deemed the GM maize feed
to be safe.
could be granted ‘within a few weeks’ or after the summer break,
according to a Commission spokesman.