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European Commission guidelines on GMO cross-contamination

July 23, 2003 3:17 PM

The European Commission today published guidelines for best practice measures to prevent the cross-contamination of genetically modified crops with conventional and organic farming.

Chris Davies, Liberal Democrat spokesman on the Environment in the European Parliament, tabled successful amendments to the legislation which will give EU member states the power to avoid cross-contamination by GM crops.

The North West Euro-MP said: "Although the Commission has spelt out the general principle that must apply, it is still up to member states to determine how they should best fit national circumstances. Given the conflicting scientific evidence about the distances necessary to prevent cross-contamination the government should veer on the side of caution and insist on the maximum separation between GM and other crops.

"Before permission is given for the growing of commercial GM crops in Britain, Ministers must take steps to amend the law to ensure that financial liability for damage lies with those who plant these crops. Conventional and organic farmers should not have to suffer financial loss if their crops are contaminated by GM presence through no fault of their own."