Labelling rules for GM foods rejected by Member States

European Commission proposals on labelling of foods containing genetically modified (GM) soya or maize were rejected by the EC Standing Committee on Food Safety in January. However, the proposals will be implemented by the Commission unless the Council of Ministers unanimously rejects or amends them within three months.

EC policy on the labelling of GM foods remains confused, despite dramatic growth in the proportion of staple food crops grown from GM seed worldwide. This year, GM soya is expected to account for 35% of the US market - the main exporter to the EC - up from 16% in 1997.

The Commission's proposals, which appeared in a draft Regulation last December, were criticised by environmental and consumer groups because most products derived from GM

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