The Commission presents the outcome of its review of the decision-making process for the authorisation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) as food and feed. The Commission proposes to amend the legislation to confer upon Member States more freedom to restrict, or prohibit the use of EU-authorised GMOs in food or feed on their territory.
As of today, a more flexible approach towards use of GMOs:
The new approach aims to achieve the right balance between maintaining an EU authorisation system and the freedom for Member States to decide on the use of GMOs on their territory. Since it is crucial that a single risk management system is maintained - as this ensures the same level of protection throughout the EU – the current authorisation system, based on science and the labelling rules ensuring consumer choice, will not be amended. What will change is that once a GMO is authorised for use as food or feed in Europe, Member States will have the possibility to decide on whether to opt out from allowing that particular GMO to be used in their food chain.
Member States will have to justify that their opt-out measures comply with EU law, which includes the principles of the Internal Market, and EU's international obligationsof which the EU's WTO obligations are an integral part. . Opt-outs shall be based on legitimate reasons other than those assessed at EU level, i.e. risk to human or animal health or the environment.
This legislative proposal will now be sent to the European Parliament and the Council to run its ordinary legislative course.
Wednesday 22 April 2015/ EC/ European Union.