The European Parliament’s agriculture committee has backed calls for a European-wide organic food logo.
The committee has adopted a report that calls for a dedicated European Union (EU) agency or governing body to be established to independently certify products.
It says that regulation should ensure the European Parliament has a more powerful decision-making role instead of its existing consultative one.
The report calls for a European logo for foods containing 95% organic ingredients. It also calls for organic food to be completely free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) – currently 0.9% of the product can be of GMO origin. EU agriculture ministers are considering proposed regulation on organic production and food labelling.
Marie-Hélène Aubert, the French Green MEP who compiled the report, says: "In the context of the ballooning demand for organic food in the EU and the resulting growth in supply, we need to guarantee certainty for consumers about the products they are buying."
Aubert’s report calls for a compulsory EU-wide logo for organic food on all products that satisfy the "organic" requirements and clearer labelling of foods.
She also says there should be closer inspection of foods and products to determine their origin.
Caroline Lucas, Green MEP for South-east England, adds: "We need labelling rules that ensure the consumer knows both where the product comes from and under which quality standards it has been produced.
"While introducing an EU organics logo (as proposed) would be positive in this sense, the existing private organic certifiers should be able to maintain their logos and set even higher or stricter standards if they want to."
According to EU figures, sales of organic products in Europe are rising by 30% a year.