South West Conservatives
Euro Office for Cornwall

Dr Caroline Jackson MEP
3A Molesworth Street, Wadebridge, PL27 7DA

10th July, 2002

Dear Mr Lovejoy,

Thank you very much for your letter of 27 June.

I attach a statement of my own position on the genetically modified issue and I voted accordingly.

Yours sincerely

Caroline Jackson MEP

Aforementioned Attachment.
(Sent 17th July and received 19th July, 2002)

Caroline Jackson MEP
Statement on GMOs Strasbourg July 2002 (Plenary vote on Trakatellis and Scheele reports)

I shall vote in favour of a directive which gives consumers information that is verifiable and meaningful, so that they are then in a position to decide for themselves whether or not to buy food containing GM material. The European Union should not put itself in a position of requiring labelling of something which is not present and therefore not detectable in the final product. The idea of a labelling system to indicate that GM material may have been used in the production of a product which does not contain GM material in it's final form is wholly disproportionate, and an open invitation to fraud.

I am in favour of a rule which would require labelling for products containing more that 1% GM material. I regard this as a level which expert advice has shown to reflect the possibilities of modern technology, and which those in the supply chain could verify and deliver. It is also a level which is likely to be more internationally acceptable than any lower level, and this is an important consideration given the extent of the EU's international trade in food and feed.

I oppose the idea that there should be a requirement for the labelling of products from animals fed GM feed. This too would be unenforceable. Research has shown that transengenic DNA from GM animal feed is not found in milk meat and eggs.

While defending the need for consumers to have information about the presence of GM material, I do not agree with those who are prepared to use amendments to the legislation under discussion to bring about a situation where it would be impossible to bring GM products to the market at all. There is no evidence from those countries where GM food are allowed of any danger to human or animal health. I have confidence in the scientific assessment for safety purposes of such products. Mankind eats and has eaten foods from animals and plants which are constantly evolving. This evolution is already partly due to the intervention of man-made technologies: GM technology is another man-driven and science-facilitated, step in this process

I believe that GM food and feed could have significant advantages in the European context in the sense of offering us the chance to develop less environmentally damaging forms of agriculture, with less use of pesticides and herbicides, and less use of artificial fertilisers. I believe that, with sensible legislation that takes account of the need to establish verifiable systems to indicate GMs, Europeans could reap the benefit of GM food and feed - and still avoid consuming them if they wish so.

Caroline Jackson MEP

Transcribed to HTML 20th July: Roger Lovejoy: