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Food Safety

Coexistence with conventional and organic agriculture

Under normal agriculture conditions, the possibility of adventitious presence of authorised GM crops in non-GM crops cannot be excluded. Therefore, suitable coexistence measures can be put in place during cultivation, harvest, transport, storage and processing to ensure coexistence of GMOs with conventional and organic crops.

  • Unintended presence of GMOs in conventional and organic crops - The objective of coexistence measures is to avoid unintended presence of GMOs in other products, preventing the potential economic loss and impact of the admixture of GM and non-GM crops.

  • Consumer's choice - The choice of the consumers between genetically modified and non-genetically modified food is possible with a functioning traceability and labelling system, and an agricultural sector producing the different types of products.

  • Potential income loss for producers - The potential income loss for producers of certain agricultural products (organic) is not only about (not) exceeding the 0.9% limit. GMO traces below 0.9% in particular crops may still damage businesses that want to market them as not stemming from gene technology or GMO-free.

  • Flexibility for EU countries - EU countries have flexibility with regard to their national, regional and local needs for GMO cultivation to achieve the lowest possible level of GMOs in organic and other crops.

  • Economic aspects - Coexistence measures address only economic issues related to authorised GMOs in the EU. Health and environmental aspects of those GMOs have already been covered by the environmental risk assessment of the EU authorisation process.

The EU gives guidance to EU countries in developing l co-existence measures to avoid the unintended presence of GMOs in conventional and organic crops.

Reports on the Coexistence with conventional and organic agriculture can be found here.

Directive (EU) 2015/412 imposes to EU countries cultivating GMOs to put in place coexistence measures at their borders with non-cultivating EU countries. The national measures adopted can be found here.

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