Slow Food

Worrying step backwards by Council of Ministers on GMOs in organics

Italy - 12 Jun 07

The European Union Council of Agriculture ministers voted for a 0.9% GMO tolerance threshold in Community organic agriculture regulations today. According to Slow Food, this is an extremely serious matter. ‘This decision appears unjustifiable and unacceptable,’ argues Carlo Petrini, president of Slow Food, ‘insofar as it highlights how European political leaders fail to listen to the voice of civil society. We are bewildered and angry to learn that the cases of consumers, quality producers and all those working for a new sustainable model for the food system—especially in the agricultural sector—have been trampled upon for the umpteenth time. This is all the more serious in view of the fact that, on March 29, the European Parliament passed an opinion setting the threshold at 0.1%—virtually zero—by a broad majority.’ Not only has the Council of Ministers failed to listen to the wishes of European citizens who want to be certain that, when they buy organic, they do not buy GMOs as well, but it has also played deaf to the indications of these citizens’ representatives in Parliament. ‘Now that the need to think about the future of our planet in a different way is evident, it’s up to Europe to play a leading role in a purposeful, creative way. We have the human capital to achieve this wonderful revolution—this is the ideal to which European citizens aspire. Choices like the European Council’s today go in exactly the opposite direction.’