Brussels, 12 January 2006
Commission Decision of 10 January 2006 concerning the provisional prohibition in Greece of the marketing of seeds of maize hybrids with the genetic modification MON 810 inscribed in the common catalogue of varieties of agricultural plant species, pursuant to Directive 2002/53/EC (notified under document number C(2005) 5964) (OJ L7/ 12.1.2006).
(5) On 7 April 2005, the Greek authorities notified to the Commission a Ministerial Order No 243267 of 3.3.2005 prohibiting for the growing seasons of 2005 and 2006 the marketing of seeds of the seventeen above-mentioned varieties and asked the Commission to authorise this national measure in accordance with Article 18 of Directive 2002/53/EC .
(6) Article 18 of Directive 2002/53/EC , provides that if it is established that the cultivation of a variety included in the common catalogue of varieties could in any Member State be harmful from a point of view of plant health to the cultivation of other varieties or species, or present a risk for the environment or for human health, that Member State may upon application, be authorised to prohibit the marketing of the seed in question in all or part of its territory. Where there is imminent danger of the spread of harmful organisms or imminent danger for human health or for the environment, that prohibition may be imposed by the Member State concerned as soon as its application has been lodged until such time as a final decision has been taken.
(7) The Greek authorities explained in the notification that the prohibition measure is deemed necessary in so far as the cultivation of the genetically modified varieties may cause adverse effects to the rural environment. Greece did not supply information supporting its measure which could have been referred to the European Food Safety Authority for a risk assessment as regards human health or the environment of these genetically modified varieties. On 4 May 2005, the Commission wrote to the Greek authorities and asked for clarifications, in particular, on the possible effects of the marketing of those seeds on the rural environment. The Greek authorities replied on 12 May 2005, that adverse effects caused to the rural environment by the seeds of those 17 genetically modified varieties, are of an economic nature and do not concern the environment in general or human health. In this regard, the response also stated that the Greek authorities are aware that in application of Community legislation for environmental risk assessment, MON 810 has already been assessed as safe for the environment and human health.
The Hellenic Republic is not authorised to prohibit the marketing of seeds of maize hybrids with the genetic modification MON 810 inscribed in the common catalogue of varieties.
The Hellenic Republic shall take the necessary steps to comply with this Decision within 20 days after its notification, at the latest.