Fortified protection

Published: Friday 31 August 2001

the us has another issue to grumble about. The European Commission has introduced its long-awaited proposals on the labelling and traceability of foods containing genetically modified organisms (gmos). But this has evoked a sharp response from the us, the world's largest producer of gmos. Washington has termed the plans as unworkable, saying that the proposal threatens its billion dollars worth of exports to the European Union (eu). The proposals require that all foods and animal feed derived from gmos must be labelled. In the case of processed goods, records have to be kept throughout the production process, allowing the gmos to be traced back to the farm of origin. The requirements also cover highly refined products such as corn oil or soybean oil, where the original gmo content is removed during the production process. These will have to be labelled as derived from gmos although not actually containing them. "The provisions for traceability ensure a high level of environmental and health protection and pave the way for a proper labelling system," said Margot Wallstrm, environment commissioner of the eu.

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