Brussels, 8 September 2004
The European Commission approved today the inscription of 17 varieties derived from MON 810 maize in the Common EU Catalogue of Varieties of Agricultural Plant Species. This maize has been authorised under the EU GM legislation since 1998. The Common Catalogue is compiled on the basis of the national catalogues of the Member States. It compiles around 30 000 varieties. Once a variety of seed is properly inscribed in a national catalogue, the Commission is informed and is required to inscribe the variety in the Common Catalogue by publication in the Official Journal. Seed of varieties in the Common Catalogue can be marketed in the entire EU, seed of varieties in the national catalogues only on the market of the country concerned.
David Byrne, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection said : «The inscription in the EU Seed Catalogue is a logical step as the EU regulatory framework on GMOs is now up to date. The maize has been thoroughly assessed to be safe for human health and environment. It has been grown in Spain for years without any known problems. It will be clearly labelled as GM maize to allow farmers a choice."
The inscription of the MON 810 varieties is the first time GM varieties will be inscribed in the Common Catalogue. GM varieties can only be inscribed if they have already been evaluated and authorised in accordance with the legislation on GMOs  . MON 810 maize has been approved in the EU since 1998. 17 varieties of maize derived from MON810 are inscribed in national catalogues: 6 are listed in France and 11 are listed in Spain. As required by Directive 2001/18/EC , Monsanto, the authorisation holder of MON 810, provided a monitoring plan which was positively evaluated by the Scientific Committee on Plants and approved by Member States in the Regulatory Committee. The MON810 varieties will be subject to labelling and traceability requirements as established in the new regulatory framework on GMOs.