Dr Caroline Jackson MEP
Thank you for your letter about the EU proposals on the traceability and labelling of GM food and feed.
Conservative and Christian Democrat MEPs believe that it is important to get a workable system in place in order to ensure that GM products that have gone through EU safety assessment can be brought to market. It is equally important that we have a system of labelling so that consumers can chose whether or not to buy food that may contain GM material.
We do not believe that it is reasonable to label all products derived from GMOs. Whatever system we put in place needs to be easy to operate, and proof against fraud. We therefore agree with the FSA criticism of the Commissions proposal to label products that do not in fact, in their final form, contain detectable GM protein or DNA: this would entail a paper trail of proof that would be complex to operate and open to fraud.
We also support the 1% level for adventitious presence of GM material, as being a reasonable level that can be detected with certainty and which stands the best chance of gaining international acceptance.
We regard the possibility of allowing for the creation of a category of GM free products as something which should be considered. Technically this is feasible, and the clearest system, from the point of view of consumers, could be one where products are simply labelled either GM free or contains GM material. But we acknowledge that this is route that might have the disadvantage that the GM free category becomes a high cost niche market.
To sum up, we believe that consumers should have information about the presence of GM material: we do not believe that the issue should be presented as if it were a warning of a potential hazard.
Caroline Jackson MEP