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Platform for GMO-free food - Highlights & Development

April 1997

More than 1,2 million Austrians sign the Austrian referendum against GMOs and declare their wish for GMO-free food.

June 1997

Greenpeace, Global 2000, Bio-Ernte Austria as well as companies from the food sector and retail found the platform for GMO-free food.

Sept. 1997

ARGE Gentechnik-frei presents the first „Definition of GMO-free produced food“.

Beg. 1998

First products – for the time being primarily organic products – with the green label „Gentechnik-frei erzeugt“ can be bought in local supermarkets. 

April 1998

The Austrian Codex Alimentarius adopts the first „Directive for the definition of Freedom from GMO“. 

Aug. 1999

With the entry into force of the EU Organic Regulation 2092/91, organic products are fully required to be GMO-free by law.

Aug. 1999

The bakery Hager in Murau introduces the first conventionally produced, GMO-free labelled bread and pastries onto the (regional) market.

April 2003    

Toni’s Freilandeier (free-range eggs) introduces conventionally produced, GMO-free labelled products onto the market all-over Austria for the first time. 

Aug. 2003

Tirolmilch is the first Austrian dairy producer to change parts of their range of goods to GMO-free products. 

Nov. 2003

The EU Regulation for the labelling of genetically modified food and feed (1829/2003) creates new framework conditions for labelling and sets limit values for impurities. Some essential areas (i.e. products from animal origin, where the animals were fed with genetically engineered feed or products which have been produced with the help of GMO resp. through fermentation) are still exempted from labelling.
This intensifies the efforts for GMO-production, especially for products of animal origin. 

Aug. 2005

NÖM AG converts its entire fresh milk range – more than 2,200 farmers – to GMO-free production and doing so sets in motion a massive wave in the dairy industry: within a couple of months, amongst others Kärntnermilch, Obersteirische Molkerei, Pinzgau Milch, Stainzer Milch, Berglandmilch and Gmundner Milch change to GMO-free production.


Numerous additional product sectors (meat, bread & pastries, processed products) start switching towards GMO-free production.


Initiated by the revision of the EU Organic Regulation as well as by the difficulties arising from comprehensive resp. continuous supply with GMO-free feed, additives, etc., the need for a revision of the Codex Guideline for Freedom from GMO becomes evident. Under the coordination of the Ministry of Health, a working group consisting of all relevant stakeholders addresses the revision. 

June 2007

Adoption of the new EU Organic Regulation 2092/91 – with clear specifications for the definition of freedom from GMO for organic products. 

March 2008

Amendment of the “Directive for the Definition of ‘GMO-free Production’ of Food and its Labelling” in the Austrian Codex Alimentarius.

Dec. 2008

Adoption of the new “Guideline for Risk-Based Monitoring of Freedom from GMO”, as basis for the accreditation of monitoring bodies by the Ministry of Economy and as important precondition for the harmonization of the inspections.

Nov. 2009

First GMO-free meat on the market: Fleischwaren Berger switches parts of its production to GMO-free feeding.

March 2010

On March 23, the association "Lebensmittel ohne Gentechnik" / “Food Products without GMO” is founded in Germany. With immediate effect, this association awards the German monitoring label “Ohne Gentechnik”.

June 2010

ARGE Gentechnik-frei now also offers a (visually identical) second version of the label – with the wording “Ohne Gentechnik hergestellt”, for a standardized wording within the entire German-speaking region.

June 2010

The entire Austrian dairy industry has switched to GMO-free production.

Aut. 2010

The entire Austrian egg producers have switched their fresh egg production to GMO-free feeding. 


In cooperation with partners from all over Europe, ARGE Gentechnik-frei aims towards the harmonization of GMO-free regulations within the EU. Preconditions for a pan-European umbrella organisation for GMO-free initiatives – the platform Euro GMO-free – are developed.

April 2011

Strong trend towards freedom from GMO: Already more than 1,500 food products are labelled “Ohne Gentechnik hergestellt”. 

Aug. 2011

GMO-free pork: For the first time GMO-free pork is available on the market – produced bei “Iboschwein”. 

Aut. 2011

Leading producers in the segment of egg products (for gastronomy & food production) also switch to “GMO-free”. 

March 2012

The majority of Austrian poultry kept for meat production (chicken, turkey) switch to GMO-free feeding. 

April 2012

In close cooperation with ARGE Gentechnik-frei, the initiative Donau Soja / ”Danube Soy” comes into existence. The initiatives´ operations have the goal to push and promote the cultivation of soy (GMO-free, “source identified”) in the very suitable Danube region. 

May 2012

Fixkraft is the first feed plant to use the label “Ohne Gentechnik hergestellt” on its feed products.

June 2012

The EU Commission initiates a consultation process for a possible harmonization of the national guidelines for GMO-free production (additional to Austria: Germany, France, South Tyrol, Luxemburg).

Sept. 2012

The Danube Soy Congress in Vienna creates large European interest in Soy cultivated in the Danube region. 

Sept. 2012

Initiated by ARGE Gentechnik-frei, the platform Euro GMO free is founded to be the European umbrella organisation for all GMO-free initiatives resp. promoting projects. 

Dec. 2012

Together with Austria´s Minister of Health Alois Stöger, ARGE Gentechnik-frei presents concrete and realistic guidelines already tested in practice for many years, as benchmark for a pan-European harmonised regulation of the specification for GMO-free labelling.

Sept. 2013

The first 40,000 tons of GMO-free Danube soy come into the European market. From late fall on, for the first time, there are also GMO-free eggs with soy from the Danube region available. 

Aut. 2013

First eggs – GMO-free and fed with source identified Danube soy – on the market (at Hofer, REWE, Spar).

Beg. 2014

On the initiative of ARGE Gentechnik-frei the Directive on Risk-Based Control of Freedom from GMO (the essential basis for the accreditation of monitoring bodies, from 2009) is being revised. Scheduled completion: Autumn 2014

April 2014

ARGE Gentechnik-frei and its German partner organization VLOG (Verband Lebensmittel ohne Gentechnik e.V.) agree to work towards a mutual recognition of the two labeling-systems and their mutual membership. Goal: Autumn 2014

April 2016

The ARGE Gentechnik-frei and the VLOG e.V. organized together with supporters from politics and from the food and retail chain the first "International GMO-free Labeling Conference" in Vienna, on April 25th, 2016. European GMO-free labelling systems agree on intensified cooperation intended to enhance convergence and comparability of standards.


ARGE Gentechnik-frei phone +43-1-90440-603 kontakt@gentechnikfrei.at