Traceability and labelling of GMOs (codecision, proposals approved with ammendments)

July 4, 2002

Strasbourg, 03 July 2002

Antonios TRAKATELLIS (EPP-ED, GR)
Report on the 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
Doc.: A5-0229/2002 [may not be available yet]
Procedure: Codecision procedure (1st reading)

Debate: 02.07.2002

Vote: 03.07.2002

Karin SCHEELE (PES, A)
Report on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation on genetically modified food and feed
Doc.: A5-0225/2002

Procedure: Codecision procedure (1st reading)

Debate: 02.07.2002

Vote: 03.07.2002

(Trakatellis: 308 votes in favour, 208 against with 39 abstentions,
Scheele: 294 votes in favour, 217 against with 35 abstentions)

In approving these two proposals with amendments, Parliament is demanding more stringent rules on traceability and labelling including animal feed and food products, defining a threshold of contamination and on unapproved GMOs.

It was imperative that the objectives of GMO regulation were set out precisely and in detail to ensure that there were implementable rules not susceptible to deception and fraud and promote consumer protection without causing confusion and doubt. Rules should establish the same requirements both for producers within and outside the EU. When placing products produced from GMOs on the market, operators shall always ensure that either the words 'This product is produced from GMOs' or 'This product contains (ingredient) produced from GMOs' appear on a label. Parliament also took the view that reliable information should be submitted to the consumers about GMOs and their derivatives so that they can make an informed choice about a product.

Where the Commission had proposed that foods or feeds that are contaminated with GMOs up to 1% should not be labelled, Parliament demanded that this threshold be 0,5%, with the possibility of lower levels for minute traces in food or feed of genetically modified material authorised under EU legislation where the presence of such material was 'adventitious' or technically unavoidable. Advances in science and technology should allow appropriately lower thresholds to be established. The Commission is asked to draw up a list of criteria and take measures to ensure that the utmost care is taken to avoid contamination.

In her reply to the debate, Commissioner Margot WALLSTRÖM emphasised that the Commission's aim was to introduce comprehensive traceability and labelling for GM products, albeit with some exemptions, such as bulk shipments of grain containing 'adventitious or the technically unavoidable presence of GM material'. She could not therefore accept amendments challenging this principle and neither could Commissioner David BYRNE accept 'GMO free' labelling amendments as an alternative to mandatory labelling but he could agree to this kind of phraseology as an addition.

Press enquiries: Ton Huyssoon (Strasbourg) tel.(33) 3 881 74005 (Brussels)  tel.(32-2) 28 42408 e-mail :  envi-press@europarl.eu.int

European Parliament Daily Notebook 2002-07-03
http://www.europarl.eu.int/home/default en.htm

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