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Organic standards set across Europe

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Organic standards set across Europe

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Organic food production and labels and are set to be standardised across Europe. The move, which follows nearly a year and a half of negotiations between EU Agriculture ministers, is designed to reinforce quality controls.

From 2009, produce must contain at least 95 percent of organic ingredients to benefit from the new label – a 20 percent rise on current standards.

Agriculture ministers have accepted that organic foods may contain less than one percent of genetically modified crops.

The Commission says the measure will protect producers against foods being accidentially contaminated.

Ministers have also agreed to establish a single Common Market Organisationfor fruit and vegetables to simplify and reduce costs from the Common Agricultural Policy.