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A Descriptive Analysis of Conventional, Organic and GM Crop and Certified Seed Production in the EU

  • Authors: Michele Graziano Ceddia and Emilio Rodríguez Cerezo
  • EUR Number: 23443 EN
  • Publication date: 7/2008


Recently, the introduction of GM crops and GM seeds in agricultural production in the EU and elsewhere has raised the issue of adventitious presence of GM seeds in conventional seed lots. Article 21(2) of Directive 2001/18/EC provides that for products where adventitious or technically unavoidable traces of authorised GMOs cannot be excluded, a minimum threshold may be established below which the products shall not have to be labelled.
In the absence of such thresholds, which is the current status of seed production, the legislation requires the labelling of conventional seed lots which contain any detectable adventitious traces of GM seeds.
The Commission is currently examining the possibility to establish thresholds for the maximum adventitious presence of GM material in certified seeds and is assessing the economic impact associated with the introduction of different threshold values. To this end it is necessary to understand The current status and likely evolution of crop and seed production in the EU.
The aim of this study is to gather basic data on the EU crop and seed production for a number of crops (maize, sugar beet/fodder beet, cotton, oilseed rape, soybean and potato). Given these premises, the study's objectives entail:
- Collection of data on volume, acreage and trade of crops in EU 25 and major trading partners and identification and analysis of main changes over time and analysis of future developments.
- Collection of data on volume, acreage and trade of certified seed production in relevant Member States, analysis of main changes over time and identification of main future developments in key MS.
- Identification of main seed producing regions in the EU and collection of information/data relative to the potential adoption by farmers of GM varieties of the above mentioned crops in these regions.

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