Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-03-28-Speech-3-175"

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"Mr President, first of all I have enjoyed the dedicated discussion we have had on this very important topic. I also appreciate your support for the main thrust of these ideas. On some of the more difficult points, I hope that I have been able to explain that we can, to a certain extent, accommodate many of your ideas. I would like to make some comments on three different issues. Firstly, on labelling. It is important to realise that when the European Union’s logo is used, an indication of the place where the raw materials were farmed is compulsory. This is also the case for imported products and it must be crystal clear that they have to comply with the same rules as domestic production. The issue of co-existence was raised. It is very important that Member States make their own decision nationally to legislate on the rules for co-existence and the rules for liability. Once these GM products are in a Member State, then there must be rules on distances and cleaning machinery when going from one field to another. The decision has to be taken in the individual Member States, owing to the differences between production in northern and southern Europe. I can only encourage Member States to put in place this legislation. On the threshold mentioned seemingly by all of you, it is necessary to underline that the Commission proposal does not change the current rules regarding the unavoidable presence of GMOs. However, it does clarify the organic operator’s responsibility for avoiding the presence of GMOs. Again, the important thing is that the use of GMOs and their derivatives is and was strictly banned in organic production, so they must be kept completely out of all organic production. We are also making the rules on the tests on each and every batch of organic products sold less restrictive than at present. On mass catering, also an issue raised by many of you, it is today possible, and will be in future, for mass catering companies to produce goods, under national legislation, which they can label as organic. This is crucial. We could not accept an EU ruling or legislation on this issue. I can accept amendments 20, 31, 35, 56, 71, 75, 99, 101 and 120. Furthermore, as I mentioned previously, 68 of the amendments are acceptable partially or in principle. I cannot accept the other amendments in the light of the discussions that we have had and I refer specifically here to the amendment proposing a double legal basis. However, the fact that 77 of your amendments are either totally or partially accepted clearly indicates that we have more common ground on this issue than you might think at first glance. Thank you for a passionate debate."@en1

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