Bloomberg News

French Food Companies Can Use ‘GMO Free’ Labels, Government Says

February 01, 2012

Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- French food companies can label products as “GMO Free” to indicate they contain no or trace amounts of genetically modified crops, the government said.

Rules will take effect July 1 for producers that want to label foods as biotechnology-free after ministers signed a decree yesterday, according to a joint e-mailed statement from four ministries today.

Existing regulations require labels to indicate the presence of genetically modified organisms, according to the statement. Adding GMO-free labeling will allow producers to distinguish their goods and increase consumer choice, the ministries said.

“This decree, awaited by consumer associations, defines the product labeling rules for operators who want to develop a production without GMO,” the ministries said. “The indication of the absence of GMO in food will allow consumers to fully exercise their choice.”

Plant-based ingredients including flour and starch will be able to carry the GMO-free tag if their content of biotech crops is less than 0.1 percent, according to the statement. Animal- based ingredients including meat and eggs can indicate livestock ate feed with content of genetically modified crops that was below either 0.1 percent or 0.9 percent.

--Editors: Dan Weeks, Nicholas Larkin.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at

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