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A Regional Food Industry Conference ended

Zagreb, 11th November, 2003 - A Regional Food Industry Conference entitled "How can we avoid the use of GMOs in seed, food and feed?" organised by Green Action, Green Network of Vojvodina and Umanotera from Slovenia was held today in Zagreb and gathered over 60 experts from all over Europe.
Natural Resources

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GMO

 Zagreb, 11th November, 2003 - A Regional Food Industry Conference entitled "How can we avoid the use of GMOs in seed, food and feed?" organised by Green Action, Green Network of Vojvodina and Umanotera from Slovenia was held today in Zagreb and gathered over 60 experts from all over Europe.

At the beginning the guests were welcomed by the Deputy of Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Miroslav Bozic, who then handed over to the President of Green Action, Jagoda Munic.

She listed the aims of the conference: to outline the existing GMO legislation in the region and the European Union and its implications for the food industry; to learn from the experiences of producers in EU countries in meeting the standards required by the new EU legislation; to show the issues arising in implementing traceability systems in practice as well as the costs of implementation; and finally to present initiatives to create GMO-free zones in Europe, especially the Austrian example.

A report entitled "Is the Market driving GMOs out of the region?" was distributed as background material. The report is based on research by NGOs from the region and outlines the situation with Genetically Modified Organisms in Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia & Montenegro.

"The market is playing a role in avoiding GMOs. A survey of seed, food and feed industry revealed that many companies - especially in Slovenia and Croatia where awareness of GMOs is highest - claim not to be using or selling GMOs and can support the claims with laboratory certificates. The claims of these companies to be avoiding GMOs is in response to the demands of the EU market, but also to increasing domestic concerns about growing and eating GE food, as evidenced by public opinion polls." said the author of the report, Iza Kruszewska from ANPED.

This conference successfully brought together food processors, retailers and seed distributors from the region to learn about how to implement traceability and labeling systems in order to be able to comply with domestic GM labeling regulations and to export to the EU, and to examine the benefits of avoiding GMOs in food and feed.

The conference featured speakers from EU organisations, as well as the food industry from Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia.


Author: Green Action

17.11.03. 20:00