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Cordis: EU GM task force supported by majority of member states
Posted by: DR. RAUPP & madora (IP Logged)
Date: October 21, 2004 07:58AM ;

Some 13 countries have given their support to the joint Danish-Italian
request to set up a European task force to ensure the co-existence of
genetically modified (GM) crops and others crops, the EU Agriculture and
Fisheries Council announced on 19 October.

At the meeting of the EU agriculture ministers on 18 October, Austria,
Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia,
Luxembourg, Poland, Slovenia, Spain and the Netherlands all agreed with
Denmark and Italy on the need to collect and disseminate information at EU

Identifying research requirements concerning co-existence should be done at
a pan-European level, they stated, pointing to the need to set limit values
for labelling GMOs in seeds.

All 15 countries suggested that 'the decision by the Commission to include
17 genetically modified types of maize in the common catalogue of varieties
should have been taken only once the Commission's report on experience with
the Member States' implementation of the rules governing co-existence has
been published,' stated the Council.

EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, Franz
Fischler, welcomed the proposal to adopt a law on co-existence at national
level and suggested creating a network between Member States to exchange
information and ideas on new practices and experiences.

Denmark and Italy will use the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 18
and 19 October to request the establishment of a European task force on
genetically modified organisms (GMOs), said officials on 14 October.

The two countries, both traditional opponents of biotech foods, will contend
that the EU needs a special task force to assist member states in deciding
how their farmers should separate conventional, organic and GM crops.

'This task force would ensure that the collection and dissemination of
information be coordinated in the EU and contribute towards identifying
research requirements concerning co-existence,' states the Danish delegation
to the EU in a note, endorsed by Italy, to be read at the Council meeting on
18 October.
The European Commission published guidelines on the coexistence of different
crop types in July 2003 and left it up to national governments to create
laws based on those guidelines. Denmark is one of the only countries to have
done so.

Denmark and Italy both feel that in the absence of common EU rules, 'it is
vital that common rules for coexistence be laid down' according to the
Danish note.

It is expected that this request will win the backing of at least ten


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