Brussels, 26 Apr 2005
Proposal for a
COUNCIL DECISION concerning the provisional prohibition of the use and sale in France of genetically modified hybrid swede rape (Brassica napus L. ssp. oleifera Metzg. MS1Bn x RF1Bn) pursuant to Directive 2001/18/EC
1. Concerning the placing on the market of genetically modified hybrid swede rape (Brassica napus L. ssp. oleifera Metzg. MS1Bn x RF1Bn), it has been decided by Commission Decision 96/158/EC of 6 February 1996, pursuant to Council Directive 90/220/EEC , that consent shall be given for the placing on the market of the product.
2. On 28 February 1996 the authorities of the United Kingdom granted consent for the placing on the market of that product.
3. Pursuant to Article 35(1) of Directive 2001/18/EC which replaced Directive 90/220/EEC procedures in respect of notifications concerning the placing on the market of genetically modified organisms which have not been completed by 17 October 2002 are subject to the provisions of Directive 2001/18/EC .
4. In accordance with Article 16 of Directive 90/220/EEC , the French authorities informed the Commission on 20 November 1998 of their decision to provisionally prohibit the use and sale of the genetically modified hybrid swede rape in question for two years and gave reasons therefore. This measure has been renewed on 26 July 2001.
5. The Scientific Committee on Plants considered that the information submitted by France did not constitute new relevant scientific evidence to indicate that the placing on the market of the product would cause adverse effects on human health and the environment.
6. On 6 October 2003 and August 2004 France informed the Commission of its decision to renew the above mentioned prohibition measure for one year and until 17 October 2006 respectively and of reasons therefore with reference to Article 23 of Directive 2001/18/EC .
7. On 5 March 2004 Greece submitted to the Commission additional information in support of its national measures concerning spring swede rape derived from transformation event Topas 19/2 having direct implications on the scientific assessment of the current national measures taken by France with respect to hybrid swede rape MS1Bn x RF1Bn.
8. The European Food Safety Authority considered that the information submitted by Greece did not constitute new scientific evidence which would invalidate the environmental risk assessment of spring swede rape derived from transformation event Topas 19/2.
9. Under such circumstances Article 23 of Directive 2001/18/EC requires the Commission to take a decision in accordance with the procedures laid down in Article 30(2) of the Directive to which Articles 5 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the provisions of Article 8 thereof.
10. Since the Scientific Committee on Plants with respect to hybrid swede rape MS1Bn x RF1Bn as well as both the Scientific Committee on Plants and the EFSA with respect to spring swede rape Topas 19/2 considered that the products did not constitute a risk to human health or the environment and since the assessment of the spring swede rape has direct implications on the assessment of the hybrid swede rape, the Commission prepared a draft Decision asking France to repeal its measures concerning hybrid swede rape MS1Bn x RF1Bn.
12. No opinion was delivered by the Committee, following its consultation, on 29 November 2004, which requires that, the Commission, in accordance with Article 5(4) of Decision 1999/468/EC , shall, without delay, submit to the Council a proposal relating to the measures to be taken and shall inform the European Parliament.
13. Article 5(6) of Decision 1999/468/EC provides that the Council may, where appropriate in view of any such position, act by qualified majority within a period set at three months in accordance with Article 30(2) of Directive 2001/18/EC . If within that three-month period, the Council has indicated by qualified majority that it opposes the proposal, the Commission shall re-examine it; whereas if, on expiry of that period the Council has neither adopted the proposed implementing act nor indicated its opposition, then the proposed implementing act shall be adopted by the Commission.