Coexistence of GM and Non GM Crops – The right to choose

02.04.2008

Coexistence of GM and Non GM Crops – The right to choose

What EuropaBio is asking for:

Those opposed to GMOs should stop using coexistence as a means to deny freedom of choice to Europe’s farmers and consumers by imposing unworkable thresholds and guidelines.
Member States to permit choice by ensuring they are in compliance with EU law as they develop their rules on coexistence measures.
To increase the pressure on the Commission to follow through with the Agriculture Council’s conclusions in May 2006 and put forward a proposal to establish practical seed thresholds for Adventitious Presence in seeds as a matter of urgency.

Purpose of this Meeting

To brief MEPs and Permanent Representatives on the challenges for industry relating to Member State implementation on measures to ensure coexistence.

Introduction

In July 2003, measures for the coexistence of GM and non-GM crops were approved in the European Commission guidelines for the development of national strategies and best practices. These set out a subsidiarity-based approach to help Member States develop national legislative or other strategies for coexistence. The measures are designed to ensure that GM crops can be grown along with non-GM.

Coexistence is already a reality in Europe, with ample experience of successful practices in Spain, the EU Member State that grows the largest area of GM maize. EuropaBio considers that the more European farmers see the benefits provided by crop varieties developed using modern biotechnology, the more they are likely to want to grow them.