The proposal of Minster Seehofer allows the use of the label “without GM”, for a product only when any feeds used in its production were not genetically modified. However, additives, medicines and vaccines from GM production would be still allowed to bear this label as long as no conventional alternatives are available. Several agricultural and food organisations have criticised the proposed changes.
The head of the German Federation of animal feeds (DVT), Peter Radewahn, stated: “Amending the current labelling regulations in the planned manner is equal to consumer fraud, as information on the production process is hidden.” DTV called for stakeholders’ concerns to be taken into account during the consultations of the German cabinet. The German “Raiffeisenverband” (DRV) shares this criticism and has referred to the results of a survey undertaken in 2005, which concluded that the majority of consumers prefers declarations of “GM-free” in cases where all levels of the production process are free of genetic engineering.
The vice-chairman of the SPD-fraction, Ulrich Kelber, however, views the amendment as progress for critical consumers. “Consumers can determine the use the green biotechnology by choosing products with the label ‘GM-free’”, he declared in a press statement. “Genetically engineered feed additives and medicines are only allowed if there is no conventional alternative”.