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New EU Frankenfoods Regulations Criticized -
Six Nations to Continue Moratorium
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New Euro GM Rules Too Weak Says FOE

On 14 Feb 2001, at 15:51, jim mc nulty wrote:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: WEDNESDAY 14th February 2001

NEW EURO GM RULES WON'T PROTECT PEOPLE & ENVIRONMENT
But FOE Welcomes New Moratorium Move by France & Others

New European rules on the licencing of GM crops and food, agreed
today in Strasbourg, won't protect consumers, farmers or the
environment, Friends of the Earth warned today. After months of wrangling and lobbying by the
biotech industry, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) approved
a revised EU GM directive. The directive regulates the release of
GMOs into the environment and food across the EU. The proposed new
directive has major failings: antibiotic marker genes won't be banned
immediately - they'll be phased out

[1] over a number of years; there's little to stop GM
pollution contaminating organic and conventional farms

[2]; it doesn't make biotechnology companies liable for any of the
effects (such as contamination of conventional crops) of GMO's. But
FOE has welcomed moves by six EU countries, led by France, which have
stated they will not accept any new GMO approvals and will retain the
"de facto" moratorium.

[3] Adria n Bebb, GM campaigner at Friends of the Earth said "This
new GM Directive will not protect European consumers, farmers or the
environment. But the strong independent position taken by France and
five other member states to
prevent GM commercial growing is very welcome. What a contrast it makes with
the UK Governments cavalier approach to proceed with large scale GM crop
trials. These crops were approved under the old Directive which is widely
accepted as insufficient to protect the environment. The UK Government
should stop the trials and support the moratorium."

1. Antibiotic resistance marker (ARMs) genes have been used in the
lab stages of many GM crops but remain in the final product. Eminent bodies
such as the British Medical Association and the Pastuer Institute have
called for ARMs to be banned to avoid resistance to antibiotics spreading.

2. Previous Directive amendments called for measures to prevent gene
transfer in the environment - so called genetic pollution. This would have
protected conventional farmers, beekeepers and the environment but was voted
down by the European Parliament.

3. 6 countries (Denmark, France, Greece, Italy , Austria and
Luxembourg) have said GM approvals won't be allowed until issues of
traceability of GMOs and labelling have been resolved.

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