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Germany Approves 'Genetically Modified-Free' Food Logo

Fri, 02/15/2008 - 10:35am
BERLIN (AP) — Germany's upper house of parliament approved a new label on Friday that will declare foods that contain no genetically modified organisms ''GM Free.''

Genetically modified foods are a sensitive topic in Germany, where environmental groups contend that many such crops are unsafe for humans and the environment.

Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, already approved the law, which is now expected to go into effect in March.

Under the law, milk, meat, eggs and cheese will earn the ''GM free'' badge only if animals did not feed upon any genetically modified products. 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.

EU law already requires that foods containing genetically modified organisms be labeled as such, which has been cause for protest from the U.S. food industry.

The new law also stipulates that genetically modified corn be cultivated at a distance of about 500 feet from unmodified corn and about 1,000 feet from organic corn.

Already, farmers who cultivate genetically modified corn in Germany are legally responsible for preventing cross-fertilization with other corn fields. German farmers already have plans to cultivate nearly 2,500 acres of the genetically modified corn variety MON810, which is resistant to the ''corn borer'' pest.
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