"Adventitious" - When do companies have to label GM contamination below 0.9%?

[img_assist|nid=170|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=43]Food in the EU doesn't have to be labeled as containing GM ingredients if it contains material of less than 0.9% content as long as it is "adventitious" or "technically unavoidable". But companies have to label it, if they have done nothing to avoid the contamination. The clause "adventitious" or "technically unavoidable" in the EU Regulation 1829/2003 on GM labelling is not a simple threshold.

A test case in Germany has established that "if your product is tested by the authorities and found to contain, say, 0.6-0.7% GM material, you must label it as containing GM ingredients *unless* you can prove that the contamination was truly adventitious or technically unavoidable."
"To prove this, you would have to demonstrate your efforts to avoid the use of such material. And you must submit evidence proving that no equivalent ingredient at less than 0.1% GM is available on the market. Knowingly processing ingredients above 0.1% GM content does not meet the adventitious criterion. Consequently, in such cases even GM content below 0.9% will result in labeling." (GM Watch)

"Case study: German breakfast cereal manufacturer
In July 2005, a German breakfast cereal mix manufacturer received a letter from an enforcement agency that had reviewed and tested the company’s product, which included a soy ingredient.
Knowing that the labeling requirements do not apply if food products contain material of less than 0.9% content as long as it is "adventitious" or "technically unavoidable," the enforcement agency took samples of the cereal mix that tested at 0.6 and 0.7% genetically modified DNA. They then argued that in order to determine the adventitious or technically unavoidable presence of this material the company would have to demonstrate its efforts to avoid the use of such material. A review of the company’s quality management files showed that GMO tests conducted in the past resulted in 0.4 and 0.1% GM content. In addition, a lab report provided by the supplier of the raw material showed 0.3% GM content." (Jochen Koester, 2005)

GM watch concludes that a "blending down" to a GM content below the 0.9% threshold can be no solution to avoid labeling.