Brussels, 06 May 2005
1. At the end of last month the United States authorities informed the Commission that BT 10 maize, a genetically modified variety of maize not authorised by them, had been sold by mistake in the US between 2001 and 2004.
According to the information provided, 15,000 hectares of BT 10 maize were planted in the United States in place of BT 11 maize (a very similar variety which did have authorisation). Maize harvested from the area used was exported to the European Union for use as animal feed but was labelled BT 11.
2. On the basis of the Committee procedure provided for in Article 53 of Regulation No 178/2002 , the Commission decided on 18 April 2005 to make imports of American maize and maize gluten intended for animal feed subject to precautionary measures in order to eliminate all risk of further imports of BT 10 into the Union. These measures, which have received almost unanimous approval from the Standing Committee on the Food Chain, consist essentially of requiring importers to produce an analysis report from an accredited laboratory certifying that imports do not contain BT 10 maize. Member States were immediately informed of the decision and the Commission is to review the matter after six months.
3. At its meeting on 20 April 2005, Coreper confirmed that this item would remain on the agenda for the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, under "B", to give Ministers an opportunity to hear the details of the measures adopted by the Commission.
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