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Germany Labels GM-free Foods

Posted By Sarah Backhouse On March 3, 2008 @ 12:00 am In Green Report / Media | No Comments

You’re no doubt aware of the raging debate surrounding genetically modified foods or foods made from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) — foods which have had their DNA altered to in an effort to make them pest-resistant or give them longer shelf life, among other unnatural things.

On the whole, it seems European consumers are much more GMO savvy than their U.S. counterparts. For example, did you know that the majority of the cotton (used in vegetable cooking oil and vegetable feed), maize and soybeans crops grown in North America have been genetically modified? You didn’t? Hmmm… that’s probably because the U.S. food industry has protested against GMO labeling, whereas in the EU, all food containing GMOs are labeled accordingly.

Germany has been particularly sensitive to the issue. According to an article on Manufacturing.net, Germany’s upper house of parliament has just approved a measure to label products containing no GM foods “GM free”. The lower house had already approved the measure, which means the law is due to go into effect in March.

Under the new law “milk, meat, eggs and cheese will earn the ‘GM free’ badge only if animals did not feed upon any genetically modified products”. So far, so good. But wait, there’s more: “Animal products can still bear the label, however, even if the livestock was exposed to genetically altered vitamins, amino acids and other additives, as long as there were no available alternatives”.

That seems startlingly inconsistent.

In any case, I commend Germany for its tough stance on GM foods. Now, how about we all stop messing with Mother Nature?

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