Food Law News - EU - 2001

FSA Letter, 11 July 2001

GM FOODS - Developments on Commission Proposals on Traceability and labelling of GMOs and food and feed products derived from them, and on genetically modified food and feed

Last December the FSA wrote to inform people that the European Commission was developing proposals for the traceability and labelling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and derived products, following publication of their discussion paper on traceability and labelling of GMOs. Subsequently the Commission decided to develop two separate proposals, one on traceability and labelling of GMOs and food and feed products developed from them and another on the approval and labelling of genetically modified food and feed.

Initially the Commission indicated that the proposals would be published in April; However there was an informal meeting of Member States and the Commission in Brussels on 5 July and it was apparent that there were still a number of difficulties with the proposals. It now appears that the earliest that they will be issued as formal Commission proposals is 25th July but this may not happen until September. Although the final detail of the text of the proposals has not yet been agreed, Member States have been invited to offer comments on a draft of the food and feed proposal (for pdf copy, click here). The traceability proposal, which is closely linked with the food and feed approval proposal and is intended to provide a mechanism for ensuring that all ingredients obtained from GM sources can be labelled, appears to be at a less advanced stage.

Whether the proposals are published in July or September it is possible that negotiations may start sometime in September.

There will be a full written consultation once the Commission proposals have been published. The proposals will also be placed on the FSA website at as soon as they are published. The views received from will help to inform a paper for discussion by the FSA Board. That discussion and the responses to the full consultation will be carefully considered and taken into account when determining the UK negotiating position.

Some of the key issues that the FSA anticipate will need to be considered in the proposals are:

Proposal on Genetically Modified Food and Feed

Proposal on Traceability and Labelling of Genetically Modified Organisms and Traceability of Food and Feed Products derived from GMOs

There may also be other issues that will become apparent when the formal proposals are published which will be the subject of the formal written consultation.

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