Zelene Doline dairy products bear the label “GMO free – Grown/Produced without genetically modified organisms".
Writing history together
Zelene Doline dairy products bear the label “Grown/Produced without GMOs”. In partnership with more than 1100 producers, Mlekarna Celeia has managed to translate its commitment to offering quality products into the traceability of animal feed. We guarantee that the animals we got the milk from were not fed genetically modified plants or compound feed produced from genetically modified plants. The additives in our food production are likewise free of genetically modified organisms.
Mlekarna Celeia is the second largest Slovene dairy, a provider of quality fresh products made with natural Slovene milk and the first Slovene producer to hold the “Grown/Produced without GMOs" certificate.
What are GMOs?
GMO stands for genetically modified organism. These are living organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been altered with processes not found in nature, which means not by crossbreeding or natural recombination. By using modern biotechnology, selected genes can be transferred from one organism into another, even when this involves two different species.
Genetic technology, known as genetic engineering, first came into use in 1970. It is a recent method of introducing new properties of microorganisms, plants and animals.
Today, genetic engineering is used in:
- biotechnical processes in industry (washing detergent enzymes);
- production of medicines, vaccines, diagnostic procedures and genetic therapy;
- crop cultivation (improving the value of crops for further processing or direct use, such as: plant resistance to certain pests, plant tolerance to herbicides, potatoes with an increased content of amylopectin for the production of potato starch);
- improvement of food quality (e.g. rice with carotene).
The right answer to the problem of famine in the world?
The most important aspect of GMO use are efforts to solve the problem of world famine. In light of the fact that the number of people on Earth will rise to ten billion in the next hundred years, agricultural production would have to double to meet the food requirements of such a vast population. The current surface area of arable land is too small to achieve this, especially considering that it is steadily decreasing.
In this situation, biotechnology provides valuable help, because it could be used to grow certain plant species on uncultivated land and create plant species which are resistant to various climate conditions. These would yield a better crop and in turn greatly cut the produce losses caused by attacks from insects and parasites. In turn, this would result in raising healthier cattle, which would be resistant to infections and parasite diseases and also grow faster. All this could step up and stimulate the development of the world’s poorest countries.
However, this is just one aspect of GMOs. Much research is still needed before scientists can confirm with certainty that consuming food containing GMOs does not cause health problems.
Labelling GMO foods
Since opinions on the use of genetic engineering are divided and consumers want to know what is ending up on their plates, the labelling of food made from GMOs is regulated by law.
- On 2 March 2015, the European Parliament adopted new rules for genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which allow Member States to restrict or ban the production of genetically modified field crops on their territories. The new legislation has introduced a change in the sense that Member States can restrict or ban the production of genetically engineered crops in their territories even if allowed at the level of the EU.
- By the end of 2015, nine EU countries put a complete ban on growing the only genetically modified product allowed in the EU, Monsanto’s maize MON 810. These countries were Austria, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Hungary, Germany and Poland. In Slovenia, where no GMOs are produced, this area is regulated with the Act on Co-existence of Genetically Modified Plants with Other Agricultural Plants, which is one of the most stringent laws of the kind in the EU.
- In the EU, products should be labelled when containing more than 0.9% of a particular GMO, but the percentages are not added up, so in theory a foodstuff could have 2.4% of GM ingredients from three different GM plants without being labelled if the content of each ingredient is e.g. 0.8%.
- Farmers regularly buy genetically modified animal feed (e.g. soya and maize) from animal feed mills without the consumers being aware that foods of animal origin (milk, eggs, meat) were produced with the help of GM feed. The traceability stops at this point.
- Quality schemes for labelling animal feed made without GMOs are based on controlling the entire process of production or farming, not just on analysing the end product.
- Like in the EU, labelling in Slovenia is only required in for food products of plant origin which contain more than 0.9% of GM ingredients.
- On the other hand, the labelling of food of animal origin, where no GM feed was used has not been introduced at the national level in Slovenia as it has in some other countries.
Quality schemes for labelling animal feed made without GMOs are based on controlling the entire process of production or farming, not just on analysing the end product.
Mlekarna Celeia without GMO
The first Slovene producer to hold the “Grown/Produced without GMOs" certificate.
Mlekarna Celeia is the second largest Slovene dairy and a provider of quality fresh products made with natural Slovene milk. Our values are:
- innovation and creativity,
- respect for the environment,
- safe food,
- the satisfaction of consumers, customers and milk producers.
This is why we have become the first dairy in Slovenia to produce and process all its products without genetically modified organisms, as required by the "Grown/Produced without GMOs" certificate or standard.
“Grown/Produced without GMOs” certificate
The “Grown/Produced without GMOs" certificate was developed by the ICC – the Institute for Control and Certification of the University of Maribor to provide a controlled system of certification, from the production of basic raw materials to the finished food product.
The “Grown/Produced without GMOs” certificate can be accessed on the Certificates page.
You can find out more about the certification process on the website of the UM Institute for Control and Certification.
The certification system includes:
- compound feed mills;
- suppliers of soya and other basic ingredients which are not genetically modified;
- shops and co-operatives which warehouse, sell and distribute animal feed which can be an issue if containing or being contaminated with GMOs;
- food processing plants and their subcontractors (breeders); and
- agricultural holdings which directly market foodstuffs labelled "Grown/Produced without GMOs".
By complying with this standard, the farmers, producers and food industry build trust in their products.
Certified food products are marked with the symbol below:
Certified food products which can be labelled as “Grown/Produced without GMOs” include:
- milk and dairy products;
- meat and meat products;
- eggs; and
- other food products made from soya, maize and rapeseed or containing these ingredients.
By offering products “Grown/Produced without GMOs”, Mlekarna Celeia ensures a high degree of food safety to its consumers. We wish to make our consumers aware of the importance of food quality, as we believe that they prefer products which are healthy.
More information about GMOs
To learn more about GMOs, please click on the following links to access the websites of institutions that deal with the subject of GMOs and articles that discuss the subject from various perspectives.