Hamara Beej

Friday, November 6, 2009

European consumers unite against GE

Czech Republic1.jpg Across Europe greenpeace volunteers and campaigners are keeping up the pressure on the GE food industry, letting them know that consumers don't want GE anywhere near their dinner tables. Today volunteers, representing citizens from the 25 nations of the European Union, made their feelings known by hanging banners in front of important monuments in Portugal, Poland, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Luxembourg, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. View a slideshow of today's images.
Our volunteers posed with banners in various languages – all with the same message – NO GE FOOD. Today’s demonstrations all took part in places of social importance: In front of Prague Castle in the Czech Republic; the Colosseum Rome, Italy; Stockholm, Sweden; Hungarian Parliament, Hungary; Eiffel Tower Paris, France; the Puerta de Alacalá, Madrid, Spain; the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the Riesenrad in Vienna, Austria and the Belém Tower, in Lisbon, Portugal.

Labelling Required
It is this consumer rejection that has led to the world's strictest labelling legislation and has forced the vast majority of EU food producers and retailers to stop using GE labelled ingredients in their own brand food products within the EU.

However there is still a major failing in the law, food products made from animals fed on GE do not have to be labelled. Currently, between 20-30 percent of animal feed is GE. As such our offices in the UK and Germany have been targeting dairy companies in a bid to get them to change their policies. This loophole needs to be closed immediately and allow real consumer choice to be extended also to meat and dairy produce.

"Dumping millions of tons of GE crops unseen into animal feed is a dangerous experiment. The meat and diary industry should take immediate action to source guaranteed GE free animal feed, which is in plentiful supply," added Martina Holbach, our International GE campaigner.

Roughly 20 million tons of GE soya and GE maize were imported into the EU last year, mainly for use as feed for the meat and dairy industry. The new GE labelling legislation requires that animal feed needs to be labelled when it contains GMOs.
spainbanner.jpgFurthermore, the EU Commission is currently planning to allow 0.3 - 0.7 percent GE contamination in conventional seeds. The Directive would allow for 0.3-0.5 percent of GMOs to be present in all conventional and organic seeds, without farmers even knowing about it. Legalising GE contamination of the seed stock at the very beginning of the food chain would not only substantially drive up the costs of GE-free food and agriculture. There would be little to no chance for the 'co-existence' between GE and non-GE farming.


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