04.12.2002 |

European network of GMO laboratories established

The European Commission has established a network of GMO laboratories. This new network consists of more than 45 control laboratories located in EU Member States. The objective is to improve traceability of GMOs in the food chain and to support regulation of their use in Europe. The network will develop and validate methods for detecting and quantifying GMOs in food and feed. Activities will be co-ordinated by the European Commission`s Joint Research Centre.</p><p><a href="http://europa.eu.int/rapid/cgi/rapcgi.ksh?p_action.gettxt=gt&doc=IP/02/1795-0- RAPID&lg=EN&display=">European network of GMO laboratories</a></p><p><a href="http://europa.eu.int/rapid/cgi/rapcgi.ksh?p_action.gettxt=gt&doc=IP/02/1795-0- RAPID&lg=DE&display=">Europäisches Netzwerk von GMO Laboratorien</a>

29.11.2002 |

EU Council of Ministers agrees on new rules for labelling of GMO food and feed

The Council of Agricultural ministers today agreed on a common position for new regulations of GMO food and feed labelling and aproval. The regulation still needs final approval by the European Parliament, which is expected in spring 2003. The most important changes proposed are:Feed containing GMOs will have to be labelled (so far only food had to be labelled) - this covers over 80% of all GMOs on the European market.Also products, where the DNA or protein of the GMO can no longer be traced, must be labelled (e.g. oil, starch, sugar)The thresholds for adventitious presence of GMOs, which need not be labelled, has been lowered to 0,9% (the EP demands 0,5% however)<a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/eu_foodfeed_memo.pdf">Memorandum on Council Position on GMO Food and Feed</a></p><p><a href="http://europa.eu.int/rapid/start/cgi/guesten.ksh?p_action.gettxt=gt&doc=IP/02/1770-0- RAPID&lg=EN&display=">Press Release of Commissioner Byrne</a></p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/EUs_food_GP_PM021128.rtf">Greenpeace International press release</a>

14.11.2002 |

Safe Seed Sourcebook in the USA

More than 30 US seed companies have signed a "Safe Seed Pledge", not to use and distribute genetically modified seeds. They state: "Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants."<a href="http://www.gene-watch.org/programs/safeseed/sourcebook.html">The Safe Seed Sourcebook Online</a> THE SAFE SEED SOURCEBOOK

25.10.2002 |

EU Commission will submit draft Seed Directive to European Parliament

"I know one thing and that is that the GMO issue will give me grey hairs," said EU environment Commissioner Wallström yesterday, when answering questions raised by the Parliaments vize president of the Agricultural Committee Graefe zu Baringdorf. She committed to formaly submit the planned Directive on Seed purity to the Parliament for scrutinity. Wallström claimed, that the thresholds proposed by the Commission were based on scientific advise, while she also admitted that no solid scientific data are presently available on the expectable level of contamination resulting from these thresholds. She underlined that the issue "will require further scrutiny and reflection, both within the Commission and in our ongoing discussions with the Member States and the different stakeholders." After a controversial debate also among Members of the Parliament Wallström concluded: "This is a very complex and sensitive issue, legally, technically and politically. As I said earlier, we readily admit that we do not have all the answers."<a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/ep_debate_24_10_2002.pdf">Minutes of the Parliaments debate including Wallströms answers</a>

13.10.2002 |

Save our Seeds petition handed over to EU-Commissioners Fischler and Byrne

A petition to keep European seeds clean of genetically modified seeds is handed over to EU Commissioners Franz Fischler (Agriculture) and David Byrne (Consumer protection) on Monday, October 14th in Luxembourg. More than 300 organisations with over 25 million members and 70.000 individuals signed the petition against the planned "genetic contamination through the backdoor".</p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/saveourseeds/press.html">Press release, list of supporters and background</a>

13.10.2002 |

UK wildlife watchdog slams plans for European Law on Genetically modified seeds

The UK Governments wildlife watchdogs have warned that EU plans to allow batches of conventional seed to contain significant levels of contamination by genetically modified organisms (GMOs)"could result in adverse impacts on farmland biodiversity"<a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/foe_pr_14102202.pdf">Press release of Friends of the Earth</a></p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/english_nature_aug02.pdf">Position of English Nature</a>

09.10.2002 |

UK seeds clean of GMO says DEFRA

A report published today by the British Department of Environment, Food and Rural affairs GM Inspectorate reveals that there have been no findings of adventitious presence of unapproved GMOs above the limit of detection in seeds for marketing since summer 2000. There was one finding of an approved GMO in seeds of maize, but this was at a very low level, below the interim threshold agreed by the European Community.The GM Inspectorate at the Central Science Laboratory (CSL) is publishing the summary details of the audits it has been carrying out on seed companies since summer 2000.</p><p><a href="http://www.csl.gov.uk/shownews.cfm?id=192">Publication of CSL GM Inspectorate Seed Audit Summary</a>

09.10.2002 |

EU Commissioner Fischler will receive Save our Seeds Petition next week

The petition "Save our Seeds" will be handed over to the European Union`s Agricultual Commissioner Franz Fischler during the next meeting of EU Agricultural Ministers on Monday 14th October in Luxembourg. The petition is still open for signatures until Friday 11th, noon.For further details contact info@zs-l.de

08.10.2002 |

Zero tolerance on seed contamination works well in Austria

In Austria since the beginning of 2002 a special Seed Regulation prohibits any contamination of seeds with genetically modified varieties. There have been no problems with this regulation, as Thomas Fertl (Greenpeace Austria) describes in his overview.</p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/austrian_situation.pdf">Report on the Austrian Seed situation</a>Seit Anfang 2002 ist in österreich eine Saatgutrichtlinie in Kraft, die jegliche Kontamination mit gentechnisch veränderten Sorten untersagt - mit gutem Erfolg, wie Thomas Fertl von Greenpeace österreich beschreibt.</p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/austria_saatgut.pdf">Bericht über die Situation in österreich nach Verabschiedung der Saatgutrichtlinie 2002</a>

19.09.2002 |

EU Commission delays vote on Seed Directive

According to various sources the EU Commission has not been able to present a revised text of it`s draft Seed Directive so far, due to internal disagreements. Is appears unclear by when the Commission will finalise it`s draft. However it is clear that the vote, which had been envisaged for the 27th of September will not take place. Member states have requested an examination period of one month after the text has been transmitted. No new date has be set for the vote so far.

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