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France: Rules Published on 'Non-Biotech' Labelling

29 February 2012
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

FRANCE - Under regulations on biotech traceability and labeling, the European policy has set standards for positive (sourced from biotech), but not for negative labeling (not sourced from biotech).

Each Member State can put in place specific national requirements for biotech-free labeling. France implemented the 1829/2003 and 1830/2003 Regulations in April 2004. The Fraud Control Office of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry (DGCCRF) is the authority enforcing compliance with the regulation and sets general rules for negative labeling.

Since then, there have been several voluntary initiatives put in place by the food industry and supermarket chains using “biotech-free” labeling, including mainly Carrefour-branded products, and the Loué free range poultry industry. In both cases, animal products concerned are sourced from animals fed on less than 0.9 per cent biotech feed.

However, these represent minor market shares in the total French food market. The Government of France has worked for several years on national rules for non-biotech labeling, so that it would inform rather than disorient consumers, when based on specific rules for all products, as part of the implementation of the national biotech law of 2008.

You can view the full guidelines here.

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