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GM farmers should be liable for contamination of conventional crops, say MEPs

The Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament has adopted an own initiative report calling on the Commission to make farmers of genetically modified (GM) crops liable for the contamination of organic and conventional products. The report urges the drafting of 'a prop...

The Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament has adopted an own initiative report calling on the Commission to make farmers of genetically modified (GM) crops liable for the contamination of organic and conventional products. The report urges the drafting of 'a proposal on Community wide civil liability and insurance in respect of possible financial damage in connection with coexistence' and insists that the provisions be made 'workable and legally enforceable'. The highly contested report by German MEP and organic farmer Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf also rejects Commission plans to allow Member States to set their own rules on the coexistence of GM and non-GM crops. Mr Graefe zu Baringdorf's report demands that 'rules be established without delay at Community level on the coexistence of genetically modified crops and [non-GM products].' The final key provision contained in the report states that Member States should be free to decide themselves whether or not to declare certain geographical areas free of GM cultivation, an idea so far opposed by the Commission.