Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-03-28-Speech-3-171"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, I should like to begin by expressing my satisfaction. This report on organic production and labelling of organic products has finally arrived for debate in plenary at an important time, since the vote in the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, on 27 February, coincided with a demonstration by agrobiologists, who were rightly complaining about the new specifications for organic farming, which aimed and still aim at allowing 0.9% of contamination, which is the level allowed in conventional farming. This report, which is the result of the unrelenting efforts of Mrs Aubert, to whom I pay tribute, is therefore terribly important for the entire sector and provides Parliament with a unique opportunity to distance itself from the Council and the Commission. It is truly vital, particularly now, to send out a strong signal with the aim of protecting organic farming. To this end, I, on behalf of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, have tabled Amendment 170, worded as follows: ‘the Member States shall provide themselves with an appropriate legislative framework, based on the precautionary principle and on the ‘polluter pays’ principle, in order to exclude any risk of organic products being contaminated by GMOs. It shall be incumbent on operators to take every precautionary measure necessary to exclude any risk of adventitious or technically unavoidable contamination by GMOs. The presence of GMOs in organic products shall be limited exclusively to unforeseen and technically unavoidable volumes up to a maximum value of 0.1%. In short, just as it is crucial not to change the very essence of organic production by allowing overly high levels of adventitious contamination, it is important to keep a minimum rate that is acceptable and accepted by the sector, so as not to penalise adventitiously contaminated organic farmers, who would see their production totally devalued if a zero tolerance policy were applied. Furthermore, we support the use of natural nitrogen mineral fertiliser, as well as any other natural mineral fertiliser, and therefore propose, via Amendments 168 and 169, to delete the passage in Article 8(1)(d) that aims at prohibiting the use of nitrogen mineral fertiliser. Finally, I fully support Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs’ decision to apply the dual legal basis – Articles 37 and 95 of the Treaty – because there are two advantages to referring to the competence of the internal market, too. Firstly, this report, voted for in the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, would be extended to the entire mass catering sector – caterers, institutional catering, canteens, restaurants – and to some products such as food supplements. Secondly, as a result of the competence of the internal market, we would shift from a consultation procedure to a codecision procedure, which would give us the crucial right to inspect the drafting of this regulation, which will directly affect the quality of Europeans’ diet."@en1

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