Verdict on labelling of GMO seeds expected from EU Standing Committee

The EU’s Standing Committee on Seeds will on 22 September discuss the Commission’s proposal on labelling and traceability of GMOs in conventional seeds.

The EU's Standing Committee on Seeds, in which all 15 EU Member States are represented, will on 22 September discuss a Commission proposal for a directive on seeds. This proposal amends various directives on seeds by adding conditions and requirements concerning the accidental presence of genetically modified organisms in conventional seeds.

The directive will also spell out specific labelling rules, establishing a threshold of 0.3 per cent to 0.7 per cent for GMOs in seeds, depending on the species, below which they will not have to be labelled. This rule will also be applicable to organic seeds, which sparked criticism by environmental pressure groups and the farming community.

If the members of the Standing Committee reach an agreement on the proposed directive, it may be adopted as soon as October under the comitology procedure. This means that the Parliament will be consulted on this issues, but does not have any decision making power, as this is a technical measure taken within the framework of existing legislation.

This decision comes amidst fervent debates on the co-existence of GM crops and traditional crops (see

EURACTIV 16 September 2003).

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