Genetically Modified Maize MON 863 X MON 810 (Extract from Provisional Version, Environment Council, 2 Dec)

December 5, 2005

Brussels, 02 Dec 2005

The Council examined a Commission proposal for a decision concerning the placing on the market of a maize product ((Zea mays L., hybrid MON 863 x MON 810) genetically modified for resistance to corn rootworm and certain lepidopteran pests of maize ( 14893/05 ). The autorization would not allowed the product for food use or to be cultivated.

The Presidency noted that the required qualified majority for the adoption or rejection of the proposal had not been obtained. Failing a decision by the Council, it is for the Commission to adopt the proposed decision.

The German authorities had received a notification from Monsanto SA, requiring authorisation for the importing and processing of MON 863 x MON 810 genetically modified maize for a period of 10 years.

The opinion adopted on 8 June 2005 by the European food safety authority1 concluded that MON 863 x MON 810 was unlikely to have an adverse effect on human and animal health or the environment in the context of its proposed use. The European food safety authority also found that the scope of the monitoring plan provided by the consent holder is in line with the intended uses of MON 863 x MON 810.

On the basis of this opinion, on 19 September 2005, the Commission submitted a draft decision to the regulatory committee2 authorising this product. However, the committee was unable to give an opinion, since no qualified majority was reached.

Therefore, in accordance with the comitology procedure3, on 11 November 2005, the Commission submitted a proposal, giving the Council three months to take a decision. A qualified majority was required at Council for adopting or rejecting the Commission's proposal, whereas unanimity would be needed to modify it. In the event of rejection, the Commission must re-examine its proposal. In the event of the Council failing to reach a decision, the act may be adopted by the Commission.


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