Historical Review

In 1991 the European Council of Agricultural Ministers adopted Regulation (EEC) No. 2092/91 on organic farming and the corresponding labelling of agricultural products and foods. The introduction of this Regulation was part of the reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy and represented the conclusion of a process through which organic agriculture received the official recognition of the 15 states which were EU members at the time.
At first, the organic Regulation only regulated plant products. Additional provisions for the production of animal products were introduced later. These rules included animal feed, prevention of illness, veterinary treatment, animal protection, livestock breeding in general and the use of livestock manure.

The use of genetically modified organisms and products produced from them was expressly excluded from organic production. At the same time, the import of organic products from third countries whose production criteria and systems of control could be recognised as equivalent to those of the EU was approved.

As a result of this ongoing process of supplementation and amendment, the provisions contained in Regulation (EEC) No. 2092/91 have become very complex and extensive.

The level of importance that the original EU organic Regulation enjoyed laid in the fact that it created common minimum standards for the entire EU. In this process, the confidence of consumers, who could purchase organic products from other member states with the certainty that these products fulfilled the same minimum requirements, was strengthened. It was left up to the member states and private organisations to enact their own additional stricter standards.


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