Last Tuesday, the European Commission confirmed its confidence in the existing legal framework regulating genetically modified organisms (GMO), considering that it is strict enough in terms of labelling and scientific assessment. Therefore, the EU executive will go on authorising new GM seeds when the European Council cannot manage to reach an agreement on the issue.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER), which campaigns for a European legal framework on co-existence between conventional and GM crops, strongly reaffirms that the existing European regulatory framework is far from exhaustive. There is absolutely no EU regulation designed at preventing the contamination of conventional crops by authorised GM seeds, the only way to protect both producers and consumers in all EU countries. Putting aside the need for such a binding regulation on co-existence is like dealing with half of the problem.
The AER and many of agricultural regions are very much concerned about the future of quality food production coming from traditional and organic regional agriculture. This is why a growing number of regional and local authorities declare themselves GMO-free and demand a genuine legal framework on co-existence, in order to protect traditional and organic producers from contamination.
The upcoming AER Conference will focus on quality food produce, co-existence and GMO free regions. This Conference, which is organised in cooperation with Friends of the Earth and with strong support from Upper-Austria and Tuscany, will be held in the European Parliament in Brussels on May 17th 2005.
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