EU-US trade deal pushing GM-crops

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Jane Arnold

Sep 30, 2015, 3:37:16 AM9/30/15

EU-US trade deal pushing GM-crops
27 August 2015

The European Commission is bowing to pressure from large biotech companies
to minimise the level of health and safety checks on imports of
genetically modified (GM) crops, Friends of the Earth Europe has learned.

Letters obtained by Friends of the Earth Europe suggest the European
Commission has asked the European Food Safety Authority to explore ways to
bypass food safety checks in the case of GMO-contaminated imports –
pressured by negotiations around the EU-US trade deal.

Mute Schimpf, Friends of the Earth Europe food campaigner said: "The
Commission is working behind closed doors to undermine rules that
guarantee Europe's food is GM-free. They're bowing to pressure from big
biotech companies who want to bring GM-crops through the backdoor as part
of the EU-US trade deal."

Currently, food imports that contain traces of unauthorised GM-crops
cannot be imported into the European Union. Bypassing elements of this
'zero-tolerance' law would mean food and feed could contain up to 0.9% of
unauthorised GM-crops, with no legally required labelling.

Mute Schimpf continued: "Undermining current food safety laws would mean
the food on our plates could be contaminated with GMOs and we'd never
know. It would have severe consequences for the food sector – low-level
contamination could not be traced and products could never be guaranteed

The European Commission has repeatedly stated that Europe's food safety
laws will not be impacted by a Transatlantic Trade and Investment
Partnership (TTIP), but these letters demonstrate the threat to
democratically agreed laws posed by the negotiations.

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