Outcome of Parliament's first reading on the proposed regulation concerning traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms, with the Commission's preliminary position on the adopted amen

August 1, 2002

Brussels, 31 July 2002

Full text

29 July 2002

Subject: Proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation concerning traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms and traceability of food and feed products produced from genetically modified organisms and amending Directive 2001/18/EC ­ Outcome of the European Parliament's first reading (Strasbourg, 1 to 4 July 2002)


The Rapporteur, Antonios TRAKATELLIS (PPE/DE ­ GR), put forward a report including 33 amendments to the Commission's proposal, on behalf of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy. The political groups tabled 24 additional amendments 1 to the Plenary vote.

At the Plenary debate, the Rapporteur declared that the extensive labelling proposed in the report by the Committee would lead consumers into confusion and would create market distortions. Mr TRAKATELLIS considers that labelling should apply only when the presence of GMOs can be detected through scientific tests, and indicated that a threshold of 0,5% is not achievable and that a 1 These included 15 amendments by the Rapporteur on behalf of his group, since the report adopted by the Committee did not reflect the Rapporteur's approach in a number of key issues reasonable threshold is 1%. He added that animals that eat food containing GMOs and products derived from GMOs should therefore not be labelled.

The political groups underlined the need for consistency between this Directive and the Regulation on genetically modified food and feed 1. While the PPE/DE supported the views of the Rapporteur, the other political groups declared to be in favour of a more extensive labelling of products containing GMOs and of a threshold of 0,5%.

On behalf of the Commission, Mrs WALLSTRÖM declared that she was not in favour of enlarging or reducing the scope of the proposal, and on the threshold issue she supported a sector-based approach. Finally, Mrs WALLSTRÖM made available the Commission's position on the amendments tabled.


The Plenary adopted 28 amendments, most of them in line with the Environment Committee approach of broadening the scope of the Directive and of setting thresholds to cover cases of adventitious or technically unavoidable traces of GMOs. The group PPE/DE voted against the proposal as modified, which received 308 votes in favour, 208 against and 39 abstentions.

The Commission's preliminary position on the adopted amendments is as follows:

1) Amendments acceptable as such: amds 51, 11 and 13

2) Amendments acceptable in part or in principle, subject to redrafting: amds 35, 9, 10, 12, 14, 24, 29, 30, 47 and 31

3) Amendments that are not acceptable: 2, 52, 6, 39, 16, 17&50, 20, 21, 22, 55, 26, , 28, 48 and 32&33.

The text of the amendments adopted and the European Parliament's legislative Resolution are set out in Annex hereto.

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