During visits to farms, vineyards and dams, the representatives of several Member States called for the adoption of a standard on the presence of GMOs in seeds, as already exists in respect of genetically-engineering food products. France and Sweden have opted to destroy all suspect rape crops whilst Germany and the United Kingdom have opted to maintain the status quo.France's Agriculture Minister, Jean Glavany, indicated that Ministers agree the current EU disharmony cannot be allowed to continue, adding that EU legislation must be extended in order to define criteria for seeds in case of accidental contamination with GMOs. The "seeds" Directive, which lays down conditions for the marketing of varieties (traditional and transgenic), provides for allowing impurities in batches of between 1 and 10% according to the variety (5% for hybrid seeds). Mr Glavany is of the opinion that this criteria is no longer applicable or is in any case ill-adapted to the accidental presence of GM material. There also remains the problem of seed imports, France importing a large quantity of its seeds from the United States. The French Minister acknowledged that the economic and environmental consequences of any decisions would have to be measured. Britain's Agriculture Minister, Nick Brown, emphasised the urgent need to arrive at an acceptable solution, given the implications for trade and...

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