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Call for EU seed law changes to help GMOs

A plan to update EU seed laws should incorporate minimum thresholds for the adventitious presence of genetically modified organisms in non-GM seed, concludes a stakeholder consultation held in 2008. Seed certification provisions could be modified to explicitly mention the control of GM varieties and adventitious GMO presence in non-GM seed. The option would be "quite easy to implement and short-term", says the Food Chain Evaluation Consortium, authors of the consultation report. The European Commission initiated the consultation as part of a review of EU legislation covering the marketing of seed. While GMO thresholds and labelling rules have been in place for food and feed for several years, discussions on seed have repeatedly failed to reach agreement on suitable values. The resulting "zero tolerance" attitude has caused problems for trade. Last year, EU Environment Ministers urged the Commission to resolve the issue ( Agrow No 558, p 8).

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