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Consumers and their impact on food and farming systems in North America and Germany – Examples relating to GMO issues

By Doris Pick


Consumers in North America and Germany tried in different ways to impact their regional farmers, supermarkets, regional as well as national politicians, food related laws as well as food based land use systems in order to be able to continue consuming ge-free foods and to get sufficient information on all levels of the food chain enabling them to do so. As much success as consumers in the US and Germany had with the initiation and establishment of ge-free regions, US consumers did not succeed with their ge-food labelling campaigns. Only in Vermont a ge-seed Labelling law could be passed. In Germany ge-food, ge-feed and ge-seed have to be labelled by law. German Consumers and low input farmers tried to get also products derived from ge-feed included in ge-labelling laws. It seems a consumer influenced compromise that a new German legislation is about to be adopted which would allow for an easier Non-GMO-Labelling of food. Yet consumer opportunities to make informed choices about the food they eat seem to be still limited, especially in North America with the practical absence of federal ge-food, feed and seed labelling laws. Thus a few years ago, actors of the organic and natural food Industry teamed up to launch the so called Non-GMO Project, which shall soon open its Verification Program to the North American natural and organic food industry, offering a standard for ge-free or Non-GMO verification

Topics: Values, standards and certification, Consumer issues, Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Organic Eprints

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