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European Commission sticks to initial plans on seed contamination

(Feb. 24, 2002 CropChoice news) In accordance with plans it introduced less than one year ago, the European Commission will require that the genetically modified content of non-genetically modified seed not exceed 0.3 percent for rape and cotton; 0.5 percent for tomato, beet, chicory, corn and potato; and 0.7 percent for soybean seed. The Commission has adopted these thresholds on seeds to ensure that transgenic ingredients account for no more than 1 percent of food products.

As CropChoice reported in January, the separation distances between rape seed would have to be increased to between 3 and 5 kilometers.

Industry interests, such as the European Seed Association, regard the proposed regulations as too strict. Meanwhile, environmental groups want the Commission to set the seed contamination threshold lower, at 0.1 percent.

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