EP Briefing 2002-09-23: Trans-boundary movement of GMOs (codecision, debate)

September 19, 2002

Strasbourg, 18 Sep 2002

Jonas SJÖSTEDT (EUL/NGL, S) will be presenting a draft legislative resolution on a proposed regulation on the transboundary movement of GMOs. In accordance with the precautionary principle, the objective of the proposed regulation is to establish a common system of notification and information for exports to third countries of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The draft resolution explicitly underlines the importance of the precautionary principle. The reporter believes the EU should use its considerable influence to ensure that, as an international regulatory system for trade in genetically modified organisms is developed, measures are based, where definite and unequivocal scientific evidence is lacking, on the precautionary principle. The draft resolution also gives recognition to the fact that some developing countries and those with transitional economies may lack the capacity to implement its requirements even where the will to do so exists.

The fact that the EU has an enormous wealth of scientific and administrative expertise at its disposal puts it in a favourable position to take a lead in assisting these countries in their attempts to apply the Protocol and in developing their capacity to do so.

The blanket exclusion of pharmaceuticals is not what is required, and the reporter has proposed an amendment which would ensure that the Regulation better reflects the Protocol on Biosafety letter and spirit.

Finally, the reporter has attempted in two ways to improve the extent to which this is reflected in the Regulation: by clarifying the responsibilities of each actor in relation to other actors and, in particular, to national authorities and the Biosafety Clearing House (BCH); and by giving a more precise description of the documentation required to enable GMOs to be monitored throughout the export process.

Report on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation on the transboundary movement of genetically modified organisms
( COM(2002) 85 - C5-0079/2002 - 2002/0046(COD))
Doc.: A5-0289/2002 [may not be available yet]

Procedure: Codecision procedure (1st reading)
Debate: 24.09.200

European Parliament Briefing 2002-09-23

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