Food Law News - EU - 2002

Council Minutes, 9 December 2002

GM FOOD - Traceability and Labelling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Extract from the minutes of the 2473rd Council meeting - ENVIRONMENT - held in Brussels on 9 December 2002

The Council reached a political agreement on a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the traceability and labelling of GMOs and of food and feed products produced from GMOs. The Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the Danish delegations were unable to join this agreement. In accordance with the co-decision procedure, once the Council's common position is formally adopted at a forthcoming session, it will be sent to the European Parliament for a second reading.

This Regulation amends 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.

The Regulation is aimed also at facilitating the implementation of appropriate risk management measures including, if necessary, withdrawal of products from the market.

The Council's political agreement provides for :

The proposed traceability system contains the following general elements:

Following the political agreement reached at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 28 November 2002 concerning a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed, the following thresholds will also apply in the context of this regulation:

The text agreed on at the Environment Council covers the overall chain of production and the commercial transactions that take place among different operators as regards traceability and labelling of GMOs. The compromise found recently at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on a parallel proposal for a regulation on genetically modified food and feed concerns primarily products that are to be delivered as such to the final consumer.

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