US prepares non-GMO certification and labelling scheme

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has developed a new federal certification and labelling program for foods that do not contain GMOs, a move broadly supported by opponents of mandatory GM food labels, Food Chemical News reports.

Labelling, GM, Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Food Safety & Standards

Food industry appeals Vermont GMO ruling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has appealed a federal court ruling that allows Vermont to move forward with implementation of a state law that requires labels on some foods made with genetically modified ingredients, Food Chemical News reports.

Labelling, GM, Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Americas

Decisions clearing 19 GMOs published in OJ

A series of 19 Commission implementing decisions authorising genetically modified organisms in Europe, 17 for food and feed uses and two carnations, have now been published in the EU’s Official Journal.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Food Safety & Standards, Approval & Certification

Spanish firms reject Commission proposal on GMOs

Seventeen organizations from the agri-food sector in Spain have signed a joint declaration rejecting the European Commission’s proposal to grant Member States a greater say on the use of EU- authorised GMOs in food and feed on their respective territories.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Spain

The Commission cleared some 19 genetically modified organisms for import on 24 April sparking a wave of protests from environmentalists, including Green MEPs.

Munich-based anti-biotechnology campaign group Testbiotech is to challenge the Commission’s 24 April approval of 19 genetically modified organisms in the EU Court.

Congress should pass a law requiring the FDA to approve genetically modified (GM) foods before they’re allowed on the market, urged Gregory Jaffe, director of the biotechnology project at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), speaking on day two of the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) annual meeting in Washington D.C., April 20-21, Food Chemical News reports.

Member States could be allowed to ban EU-approved genetically modified food and feed in line with similar rules in place for cultivation under a 22 April proposal.

Environmentalists reacted with fury to the 22 April proposals to amend EU authorisation rules for genetically modified food and feed, claiming that Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had broken his promise to make European decision-making on GMOs more democratic.

Biotech industry organisation EuropaBio as well as producer groups linked to the association through the EU food and feed chain lashed out the Commission’s 22 April proposals to allow national bans of authorised genetically modified foods and feed.

Two of the European Parliament’s political groups have come out against the 22 April proposals to allow national governments to ban EU-approved genetically modified food and feed, but from different sides of the fence. European Conservatives and Reformists headed their statement “Commission's GM cave-in: submission dressed up as subsidiarity”, while the headline on the Greens’ statement was: “EU Commission continues down slippery slope of easing way for GMOs in Europe.”

US Trade Representative Michael Froman has waded into the row over the Commission’s proposal to allow Member States to ban genetically modified (GM) – or ‘engineered’ (GE) on the other side of the Atlantic - food and feed even when EU approved.

A local Hawaiian law that aims to restrict pesticide use and require disclosure of which genetically modified crops are grown in Kauai County is illegal and should be struck down, four biotech seed companies say in a brief filed with the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Food Chemical News reports.

Friends of the Earth Europe is warning that the future Commission proposal to revamp the EU authorisation procedure for genetically modified food and feed might not allow Member States to introduce national bans as intended.