Farmers Journal | 16 January 2015
GM food labelling in Europe will not be affected by CETA and TTIP
EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has said that GM foods in Europe will still be clearly labelled, in spite of fears surrounding new trade agreements with Canada and the United States.
In an interview with German newspaper Suddeutsche, Commissioner Hogan stressed that he will not allow any compromises on GM labelling standards in Europe.
His assurances came in response to fears articulated by European political organisations with regards to consumer protection standards suffering as a result of planned free trade agreements with Canada and the United States.
CETA and TTIP
One such political organisation is the Greens, also known as the European Free Alliance, in the European Parliament. An online petition on its website expresses fears over Europe’s negotiations with the USA on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and with Canada on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
The Greens wants to prevent TTIP and CETA because, according to its website, “they include several critical issues such as investor-state dispute settlement and rules on regulatory cooperation that pose a threat to democracy and the rule of law.”
It also wants to prevent “lowering of standards concerning employment, social, environmental, privacy and consumers and the deregulation of public services in non-transparent negotiations.”
Critics are also worried the proposed agreements may cause problems for recently passed legislation that gives European countries greater control over whether to grow GM crops in their own countries.
Speaking to Suddeutsche, Hogan agreed that trade agreements up till now had been “far too intransparent.” And he reiterated that the European Commission will not allow any alterations on how GM food is labelled in Europe.
“Only being able to identify a genetically modified product by scanning the barcode on the package, as the Americans, are apparently suggesting, is not my idea of clear labelling, nor does it comply with existing rules,” he said.