Genetic modification (GM) has never been off the radar and it remains a highly sensitive consumer issue across mainland Europe.
I believe that the proposals being discussed to introduce GM-free labelling (see the article 'Europe addresses GM-free labelling concerns', Food Manufacture, p5, July 2012) are a positive move and can only increase consumer awareness and choice.
Unlike the Food Standards Agency, individual EU governments, such as Germany, France, Luxembourg and Austria, recognise their central role to put consumers first, provide balanced information and through their own national GM-free labelling schemes support consumer choice.
Testimony to their success is the proliferation and appetite for such schemes because they extend beyond merely legal compliance to include animal derivatives such as meat, milk and eggs, thus acknowledging consumer concerns about food issues.
These schemes require food and feed manufacturers to exclude GM ingredients and derivatives. At this point, harmonisation of the various EU national schemes makes complete sense.
Cert ID Europe