During the session of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg, the EU Agriculture Ministers agreed on the Commission' proposal for a regulation on organic farming. Federal Agriculture Minister and current Council President Horst Seehofer welcomed the agreement. "I am delighted with this successful conclusion which establishes a new pan-European foundation for the high standards of organic farming. The German market and the German organic farming associations, with their high quality standards, remain trendsetters for organic farming in Europe. The tried-and-tested German Eco-label will remain in use. Another good sign is that the relevant German consumer association expressly welcomes the strict regulations on genetic engineering."
Seehofer said that this was one reason for being more than happy with the result. "During the last phase of the negotiations we managed to tighten the regulation in one further area", said Federal Minister Seehofer in Luxembourg. He said that additives produced from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are now prohibited in the new Regulation. He said that additives manufactured using GMOs would only be able to be used in exceptional cases, with specific special authorisation from the EU, and then only in accordance with very strict criteria. He went on to say that this consequently satisfied one of the major concerns voiced by German and European organic farming associations and by the European Parliament.
It has also been possible to amend the Commission's original proposal to include other major German wishes. The following points, of importance to Germany, are worthy of particular mention:
Seehofer said in this regard that: "The new Regulation on Organic Farming represents a quantum leap forward for organic farming in Europe. Consumers can rely on a high level of protection and can be certain that in future, throughout Europe, products labelled as organic really will be organic in content as well."