Biotech Updates

EU's Zero Tolerance Stance on GMOs May have Serious Economic Consequences

September 11, 2009

"Tardiness and a policy of absolutely zero tolerance towards genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are damaging to food supplies in the European Union," said Danish food Minister Eva Kjer Hansen at Monday's Council of Ministers meeting. Hansen has called on the EU Commission to speed up the approval of new genetically modified crop varieties and solve the food industry's problem arising from EU's zero tolerance stance on unapproved GMOs, according to an article published at the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries' website.

"The rigid interpretation of the zero tolerance policy is a technical problem that may have serious economic consequences for food supplies in the whole of the EU," said Hansen. "In many of the countries that export raw materials to us, the production of GMO crops is large and growing. When we import GMO-free raw materials the producers in these countries find it more and more difficult to guarantee that there are no residual GMO particles from earlier transports in their containers."

The Minister further noted that there are no health related arguments to support the zero tolerance policy. "I hope that it will be possible for the Commission to find a solution to the problem as soon as possible," she said.

The original article is available at