Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-03-28-Speech-3-170"

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"Mr President, Community legislation on organic products has been applied in the European Union for over 15 years with a fair degree of success, one might say, to judge from the results. Of course, they could be even better because, if in the Europe of the 25 1.4% of all agricultural holdings are organic and account for 3.6% of farmland, this means that there is a considerable margin for further development. How can we persuade consumers to opt for organic products and spend more on food, so that the resultant increase in demand encourages more farmers to work in this sector? Obviously through constant and strict quality control, by ensuring they are free from genetically modified organisms and, most importantly, through proper labelling, which will strengthen consumer confidence. We should highlight here the very important issue which usually shakes consumer confidence, by which I mean imports of allegedly organic products from third countries. We must be strict on imported organic products. Only if they have been produced using production methods similar to Community methods should they be entitled to be labelled as 'organic', because we all know that the cost of producing organic products in third countries is usually lower. If organic production rules are circumvented, then these imported products would not be organic – meaning that we would be deceiving consumers – and would be competing with European farmers who comply with all the terms and conditions."@en1

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