MUCH controversy later, EU countries
have finally agreed upon rules to allow
the sales of genetically engineered
products. While food companies are
naturally relieved at the outcome, the
Eu decision has sparked off protests
among environmentalists who have
campaigned for long against the import
of such products into the region. Even
Austria and Germany supported the
eco-groups and called for tough rules
as the products could harm human
In a nutshell, the new Eu rules allow for 'novel' products, as the genetically engineered products are identified, to be marketed without any special label. However, companies will have to label all 'live' products - those products which could theoretically grow if put in soil like tomatoes, potatoes and strawberries. Products containing ingredients which have been genetically engineered and are markedly different from the conventional products, need to be labelled. The criterion does not apply to those products which are 'chemically' not different from the conventional food products after processing, in spite of having engineered ingredients.
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