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What is co-existence?

Co-existence of GM and non-GM crops allows farmers to make a practical choice between growing conventional, organic and GM crops, in response to market demand and in accordance with legal requirements for GM labelling.

Non-GM crops with accidental presence of GM content above the 0.9% maximum tolerance threshold set out in EU legislation must be labelled as containing GMOs. Depending on the market situation, this may have financial consequences for non-GM growers.

The twin issues of co-existence and liability are therefore concerned with:

  • crop management measures required to minimise accidental admixture of GM and non-GM crops
  • financial redress where demonstrable economic loss occurs as a result of accidental admixture.

Co-existence is essentially an economic and market-related issue. It is not concerned with safety to health or the environment. All GM crops must undergo rigorous, science-based safety assessment on a case by case basis prior to their approval for commercial cultivation.

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Click here to download SCIMAC's 10 key principles on GM crop co-existence