Commission sends proposals on GMOs to Council

April 27, 2005

Brussels, 26 Apr 2005

The European Commission today adopted proposals to be sent to the Council of Ministers asking five Member states to lift their bans on certain authorised genetically modified organisms.

The draft decisions concern the GM maize varieties T25 and MON810 banned in Austria, GM maize Bt176 banned in Austria, Germany and Luxembourg, the oilseed rape varieties MS1xRF1 banned in France and Topas 19/2 banned in France and Greece.

The Regulatory Committee, which is set up under Directive 2001/18/EC and representing the Member States, did not reach the qualified majority necessary to support the Commission proposal to ask the five Member States to lift their national measures. The Commission's proposals are scientifically backed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The Council can either adopt or reject the proposals with a qualified majority. If no decision is taken after three months, the files return to the Commission who can then adopt them. If adopted, the Member States in question would have to repeal their national bans at the latest 20 days after they are formally notified of the respective decisions.

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