The European Union (EU) Council of Ministers yesterday (19 December) made significant progress on approving an EU-wide system for labelling organic foodstuffs, which should involve an 'EU ORGANIC' label for certified products.

Ministers said they could accept the proposals from the European Commission, but only if 'organic' products do not contain GMOs (except by unavoidable accidental contamination) and that all ingredients of a composite 'organic' product shall indeed be organic.

The incoming German presidency of the EU said it wanted to secure final agreement by July 2007. One outstanding issue will be whether the system can be applied to mass catering.