GMO seeds-Co-existence with non-GMO production chains (Extracted from: Background for the Agriculture Council meeting of 20 Feb.)

February 17, 2003

Brussels, 14 Feb 2003

Following the requests under "other business" items of the Italian delegation at the December and January Councils, the Council will hear an information provided by the Commission in an interim report on this topic as well as the schedule and the procedure envisaged by this Institution to deal with this thorny issue. No information on the substantial aspects of this dossier is expected. A Communication by the Commission on biotechnology and the question of coexistence between Genetically Modified seeds and conventional agriculture should be released on 5 March 2003.

Commissioner FISCHLER should address a specific Communication on this subject the same day.

The four Commissioners most concerned by this topic (Agriculture, Food safety, research and environment) should meet prior to this Communication. In the margins of this point, some delegations could raise the issue of the authorisation procedure for GMOs and the situation regarding the moratorium on new GMOs since 1998, following the political agreement reached by the Council in 2002 on the draft Regulation on genetically modified food and feed ( 14350/02 , p 5).

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