Pubs left out of streamlined EU rules on organic food

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Pubs will be exempt - for now - from new European Union (EU) rules on food labeling designed to make it easier for consumers to identify organic and...

Pubs will be exempt - for now - from new European Union (EU) rules on food labeling designed to make it easier for consumers to identify organic and food.

Instead, it will be left to individual countries to decide how to regulate the restaurant sector until 2011, when the EU plans a further review.

After months of wrangling, EU agriculture ministers have reached agreement on the new regulations on organic production and labelling, which are designed to be simpler for both farmers and consumers.

Under the rules, the EU organic logo will be mandatory on organic food sold in shops, but can be accompanied by national or private logos. The place where the products were farmed has to be indicated.

Food will only be able to carry an organic logo if at least 95 per cent of the ingredients are organic. The use of GM organisms (GMOs) will remain prohibited, with a general limit of 0.9 per cent for the accidental presence of authorised GMOs also applying to organic products.

The new rules will also create the basis for devising rules covering organic production of wine, as well as yeasts used in brewing.

Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: "This is an excellent agreement which will help consumers to recognise organic products throughout the EU more easily and give them assurances of precisely what they are buying.

"Organic food is a successful and growing market and I hope that this new set of rules will provide the framework to allow this growth to continue - through a combination of market demand and the entrepreneurship of European farmers."

Related topics: Healthy options

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