Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2002-07-02-Speech-2-167"

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"Mr President, it is good that we now have a couple of directives aimed at labelling genetically modified organisms. However, I believe that they have come too late by around 10-15 years, as GMOs are already being used in the production of a very large proportion of our food. When people started to grow crops and domesticate animals around ten thousand years ago, they also started refining natural properties. Now we are able not only to choose between different types of plant and individual plants but also to choose the characteristics of the individual plant. It is the same aim we have had for thousands of years, but we have new methods. I profess that I believe in science, I believe in this technology and I believe that we should use our knowledge, but we must be aware that new knowledge always means new risks and requires increased caution. These are two important areas to be considered in this context, public health and possible threats to the environment. Many people are concerned. We have reason to take these concerns seriously. The consumer requires labelling, and the consumer is always right. We as politicians must take our responsibility. If one takes the environmental aspect seriously, which, in contrast to Mr Trakatellis, I do food must be labelled, including in those cases where GMOs cannot be detected and where they have only been used to assist production. I therefore fully support the proposal of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy. I also support a number of the amendments proposed by the Group of the Party of European Socialists and the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance which go one step further. I believe it is extremely important that we who believe in the technology are also honest."@en1

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