Brussels, 29 Jun 2004
The Council examined the Commission proposal for a Decision authorising the placing on the market of a maize product genetically modified for glyphosate tolerance (Zea mays L line NK603)1, a qualified majority being required for adopting or rejecting the proposal.
The Presidency took note that no qualified majority was attained to adopt or to reject the proposal. In the absence of a Council decision, the Commission will be able to adopt its proposal.
A notification concerning the placing on the market of Zea mays L. line NK603, which are grains of maize with increased tolerance to the herbicide glyphosate, was submitted by Monsanto S.A. to the competent authority of Spain.
In November 2003, the European Food Safety Authority gave an opinion indicating that genetically modified maize NK603 was safe and that its placing on the market for food feed or processing was unlikely to have an adverse effect on human or animal health or on the environment2.
Based on this opinion, in December 2003, the Commission submitted to the regulatory Committee3 a draft decision authorising the placing on the Community market of this product for a duration of 10 years. The Committee was unable to give an opinion, since no qualified majority was reached.
In accordance with the comitology procedure4, the Commission therefore submitted a proposal for a Council Decision, dated 30 March 2004, which gave the Council a period of three months, expiring on 30 June 2004, to take a decision.
According with the Commission proposal, Zea mays L. line NK603 may be used as any other maize, with the exception of cultivation and uses as or in food, and may be placed in the market subject to the conditions laid down in its article 3 (period of validity of 10 years; labelling conditions, authorised identifier, etc.).
2 See http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/gmo/gmo_o pinions/176_en.html
3 Established under Article 30 of Directive 2001/18/EC .
4 See Article 5 of Council Decision 1999/468/EC (OJ L 184/23, 17.7.1999).