After months of heated debate, the 15 farm ministers of the European Union agreed last week on labeling rules for genetically modified (GM) food and animal feed. Under the plan, all food and feed containing 0.9 percent GM ingredients or more would need to be identified as such; below that threshold, no labeling would be required. Pro-GM food advocates hope the proposed labeling rules will convince GM skeptics to ease their stance toward bioengineered crops; at present, there is an E.U.-wide moratorium on growing or selling most GM crops. E.U. Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection David Byrne hailed the agreement as a triumph for consumer choice, and Lorenzo Consoli, E.U. policy advisor to Greenpeace, said the proposal would be “the most comprehensive labeling system for GM products … [and] the model to follow.” But the proposal will have to withstand heated debate in the European Parliament, where resistance to GM foods is strong among some member states.
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