Brussels, 18 April 2005
The Commission has published a list of 26 genetically modified products which have been legally on the EU market since before the new legislative framework for authorising GM food and feed had entered into effect. These so-called “existing products” were either approved under former EU legislation, or did not require approval at the time that they were put on the market. They have been added to a specific section of the Community register of genetically modified food and feed in order to clarify exactly which GM products are legally permitted to be sold in the EU and to have full information on these products.
Markos Kyprianou, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection said: “This register is an important tool to clarify the legal status of GMOs allowed for sale in the EU before the current legislation entered into force in April 2004. The register makes it clear which products can legally be sold in the EU, although in reality many of these products may not currently be on the EU market.”
Since the entry into force of Regulation 1829/2003 on GM food and feed in April 2004, all GM products seeking to enter the EU market as food or feed have to undergo a thorough authorisation procedure, including a scientific safety assessment by EFSA. However, there are certain GM food and feed products which can be legally sold in the EU according to the rules in place before Regulation 1829/2003 .. In order to cover these GM products, Regulation 1829/2003 stipulated that operators who wished to continue marketing an “existing product” had to notify the Commission and submit detailed information on the GMO before 18 October 2004. Non-notified products will no longer be allowed on the EU market. The Commission, in co-operation with the Joint Research Centre, examined the validity of the notifications it received and agreed to enter 26 GMOs into a specifically created section of the Community register of genetically modified food and feed. Once one of these “existing products” is on this register, it can legally be sold in the EU for a set period of between 3-9 years, after which it has to resubmit an application for the renewal of the authorisation.
For the register of GM “existing products”, see: