David Byrne: GM Food and Feed, European Parliament Plenary Session, Strasbourg, 1st July 2003

July 2, 2003

Strasbourg, 1 st July 2003

President, Honourable Members,

I am very pleased that we have now reached the final stages of the deliberations on the GM food and feed Proposal which I first presented to you almost two years ago.

The discussions have been intensive, complex and have often provoked strong emotional reactions and divided opinions.

It is now important to draw the discussions to a close. Allow me to draw your attention to the three principal elements of the proposal:

  • First, it will ensure a high level of protection of human and animal health on the basis of a streamlined, efficient and more transparent authorisation procedure.
    • Animal feed produced from GMOs will, in future, be subject to authorisation.

    • The simplified procedure based on substantial equivalence will be abandoned and authorisations will be limited to 10 years.

    • The public will have the opportunity to make comments prior to decisions to authorise products.
  • Second, the proposal provides consumers with what they so overwhelmingly demand an indication of whether or not food and food ingredients are produced from GMOs. This will provide consumers with the freedom to choose between GM and non-GM products. Similarly, feed produced from GMOs will have to be labelled to facilitate the freedom of choice for farmers and other operators dealing with animal feed.

  • Third, the proposal increases the legal certainty for operators and traders, which they need to carry out their daily business.
  • The common position adopted by the Council in March is both balanced and rational. It represents a major step forward in building public confidence in the application of biotechnology to food.

    I am pleased that a compromise package has been tabled to facilitate the final adoption of the proposal.

    I would like to thank the rapporteur and also the shadow rapporteurs for their hard work towards arriving at this compromise package and for their willingness to ensure a balanced result as well as a timely resolution of the outstanding issues.

    The compromise package includes provisions concerning the issue of co-existence between different forms of agriculture.

    The Commission agrees that this is an important issue for which appropriate solutions need to be devised.

    The Commission would have preferred to address co-existence separately in the context of Commissioner Fischler's current work.

    However, the Commission is prepared to support the compromise package and as outlined in the package to develop guidelines on appropriate measures to be taken at national level. Such guidelines are on course to be adopted by the Commission later this month.

    To conclude, let me state the Commission's position on the amendments tabled.

    The Commission can accept the compromise package, consisting of Amendments 1, 7, 8, 9, and 44 to 48, provided all the other amendments are rejected.

    Thank you.

    DN: SPEECH/03/338 Date: 01/07/2003

    Please login or register to read this article

    Register to continue

    Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

    Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

    • Sign up for the editor's highlights
    • Receive World University Rankings news first
    • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
    • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

    Have your say

    Log in or register to post comments