Food Law News - EU - 2005

Council Press Release (10074/05), 24 June 2005

GMOs - Placing on the market of maize product MON 863

[Extract from the minutes of the Environment Council Meeting, 24 June 2005]

The Council examined a proposal from the Commission for a Decision authorising the placing on the market of a maize product genetically modified to improve its resistance to insects (Zea mays L. line MON 863)[7]. The authorisation would allow the product to be used for feed, but would not allow it to be cultivated on Community territory or used for human consumption.

The Presidency noted that the required qualified majority for the adoption or rejection of the proposal had not been obtained. Failing a decision by the Council, it was for the Commission to take a decision.

The German authorities had received a notification concerning the placing on the market of a maize product (Zea mays L. line MON 863) genetically modified for resistance to different insects.

On 2 April 2004, the European Food Safety Authority issued an opinion stating that the genetically modified maize (Zea mays L. line MON 863) was unlikely to have an adverse effect on human and animal health or, if used as proposed, on the environment[8].

On the basis of this opinion, in November 2004 the Commission submitted a draft Decision to the regulatory committee[9] authorising the placing of this product on the Community market for a period of ten years. The committee was unable to reach a qualified majority and consequently could not deliver an opinion.

In accordance with the comitology procedure[10], the Commission therefore submitted a proposal for a Decision on 27 April 2005, giving the Council a period of three months in which to take a position.

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