EP Briefing 2003-06-30: Genetically modified food and feed

June 25, 2003

Strasbourg, 24 Jun 2003

Karin SCHEELE (PES, A), for the Environment Committee, in a draft legislative resolution on genetically modified food and feed, aims to amend Council's common position. The committee reinstates a number of key amendments adopted by Parliament at first reading:

1.  with regard to the derogation to the labelling requirements in the case of adventitious or technically unavoidable presence of GMOs, the maximum tolerance threshold should be 0.5% for each ingredient rather than 0.9% as proposed in the common position;

the committee proposes deleting the provisions amending Directive 2001/18 (the GMO Release Directive) as regards the derogation to the labelling requirements in the case of adventitious or technically unavoidable presence of unauthorised GMOs. The Council is proposing a three-year transitional period during which a tolerance threshold of 0.5% would apply for unauthorised GMOs which had received positive scientific risk assessments. The committee argues that thresholds for unauthorised GMOs and GMO ingredients did not even exist in US law and that the proposed threshold would undermine the EU bio-safety framework

3.  measures should be taken to ensure the co-existence of GM production and non-GM production. The technical details of co-existence should be decided by means of the comitology procedure;

4. food and feed which can also be used as seed should only be placed on the market if it has been authorised for all these uses;

5. as regards emergency measures, the proposal should take up the wording of the provisions laid down in Directive 2001/18 (the GMO Release Directive), thereby enabling Member States to take emergency action themselves (rather than merely informing the EFSA and the Commission) in the event of severe risk.

The committee also proposes a number of changes aimed at streamlining the procedures relating to applications for initial authorisations and for renewals and interim reports. The common position stipulates that applications for initial authorisations should be submitted to the national competent authority of a Member State but that all applications for renewals and all interim reports should be addressed to the Commission. MEPs in the committee point out that this division of responsibilities was contrary to the principles of proper administration and are calling for initial authorisations, renewals and interim reports to be submitted to the competent authority of the Member State where the initial authorisation was applied for.

Report on the Council common position for adopting a European Parliament and Council regulation on genetically modified food and feed
(5204/3/2003 - C5-0133/2003 - 2001/0173(COD))
Doc.: A5-0202/2003 [may not be available yet]

Procedure: Codecision (2nd reading)
Debate: 01.07.200

European Parliament Briefing 2003-06-30

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