Since October 2008, products with an official "Non-GMO" seal can be found on the supermarket shelves. These products must comply with the legal requirements set forth by the EG-Gentechnikdurchführungsgesetz. This law includes the legal provisions which regulate the labelling of food products not produced from GMO.
Regarding food products of animal origin, specific applications in animal feed are allowed, even though animal feed produced from genetically modified plants is generally not allowed according to the EC-Gene Technology Implementation Law.
Concerning animal feeds, the following exceptions apply:
- The ban on GM plant feeds applies to a specific time period before the slaughter. Prior to this period, the animals may be feed with GM feed.
- Below the threshold value of 0.9%, the "unintentional and technically unavoidable" intermixture of approved genetically modified plants is allowed in feed products.
- Additionally, feed product additives such as vitamins, amino acids or enzymes which were produced using genetically modified microorganisms are permitted. Besides this, the animals are allowed to be treated using genetically produced drugs or vaccines.
The requirements for food products with "Non-GMO" labels are more strictly regulated. In this case, the following are not allowed to be used:
- Ingredients or additives derived from GM plants
- Additives, vitamins, amino acids, flavourings or enzymes which were produced with the help of genetically modified microorganisms. The legislator has only defined exceptions for genetically produced additives which are approved according to the EU Regulation on Organic Production and for which there are no "Non-GMO" alternatives produced.
Unintentional or technically unavoidable GMO intermixtures contained in food products which are above the technical limit of detection of 0.1% are generally not tolerated to be labelled as "Non GMO".
On 24th of May 2017 the association Lebensmittel ohne Gentechnik eV (VLOG) published guidelines for GMO analysis in feedstuff (ohne Gentechnik = no genetic engineering). More information can be found here.
Legal Bases and Guidelines
- Gentechnik-Durchführungsgesetz (EGGenTDurchfG) (German)
- Regulation (EC) No 1830/2003 (traceability and labelling of GMOs)
- Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 (genetically modified food and feed)
Other Interesting Pages
Eggs and Poultry
EOL-Eurofins Online Service
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