Brussels, 29 Jul 2003
The Council adopted a Regulation, with the Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and the Danish delegations voting against, concerning the traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and of food and feed products produced from GMOs, following its approval of the European Parliament's second reading amendments to the Council's common position. The common position, thus amended, stresses the importance of giving consumers the possibility to make an informed choice of product, by means of full and reliable information on GMOs and products, food and feed produced therefrom.
Moreover, it calls for a Commission report to be submitted to the Council and the Parliament on the outcome of the Regulation's implementation in the Member States, for the standardisation of procedures that allow the holding of information on GMOs, for the publication of the Commission's technical guidance on sampling and testing, as well as for the setting up of a Central Register at Community level containing all available information and reference material for at least those GMOs authorised in the Community.
The Regulation modifies certain aspects of Directive 2001/18/EC on the deliberate release into the environment of GMOs. It aims to establish a framework for the traceability of products consisting of or containing GMOs, and food and feed derived from GMOs, with the objective of facilitating accurate labelling, monitoring of the effects on the environment and, where appropriate, on human health. It is aimed also at facilitating the implementation of appropriate risk management measures including, if necessary, withdrawal of products from the market.
It covers the overall chain of production and the commercial transactions that take place among different operators as regards traceability and labelling of GMOs. It should be seen as an important element of the overall Union's legislative package on GMOs, which also comprises the Regulation on genetically modified (GM) food and feed, and the current discussion on the coexistence of GM-seeds with traditional and organic forms of agriculture.
It is recalled that, the Council (Agriculture) adopted its common position on 17-18 March 2003 and reached political agreement on 9 December 2002. For further details, please consult press releases 7425/03 and 15101/02, respectively, on the Council's Newsroom ( http://ue.eu.int/newsroom/; link: Council).
The United Kingdom and the Netherlands delegations have made a public statement on the Regulation's provisions. For further details on their statement, please consult 11262/03 ADD 1 REV 1 on the Council's public document register ( http://register.consilium.eu.int/utfregi ster/frames/introfsFR.htm; links: search in the register; simple / advanced search).