European Union (EU) ministers and MEPs will this spring consider a major overhaul of the EU’s rules governing organic food production, which has been proposed by the European Commission.

It aims to simplify standards saying when a foodstuff can be labelled organic, with EU agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel appealing for support, saying it will help “consumers to recognise organic products and understand their environmental and animal welfare benefits”.

If the proposals are passed, at least 95% of an organic labelled product would have to meet EU organic production standards.

Controversially, products containing genetically modified organisms could also be labelled organic if they contain 0.9% or less GM content, through accidental contamination.

Another controversy could be generated by imports, where the Commission will allow organic labelling not only if food was produced according to with EU standards, but also where they followed standards in the exporting country that the Commission considers “equivalent”.