Germany supports zero-tolerance on unapproved GM content in food imports

Government says relaxing policy would damage customer rights

Germany will continue to support a zero-tolerance policy on allowing any unapproved genetically modified content into human food imports, according to German Farming and Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner. The country’s government plans to oppose any move by the European Union to enact similar rules to those put in place regarding animal feed, which do allow trace amounts of unapproved genetically modified material in a bid to prevent import disruption when modified crops are introduced more quickly in other regions.

Aigner said changing the zero-tolerance policy would damage the rights of consumers to buy genetically-modified-free food if they wish and would reduce transparency of food labeling. Right now, modified crops can’t be imported by the EW even in trace amounts until approved by the bloc’s approvals process. Food industry lobbies in Germany and other EU countries are pressing for a change to the rules to help prevent trade disruption.