Food Law News - EU - 2006

Council Press Release (10876), 27 June 2006

GMOs Council Exchange of Views on improvements to GMO legislation

The following is an extract from the minutes of the Environment Council Meeting held on the 27 June 2006

The Council held an exchange of views on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) whereby it evaluated the activities which have been carried out within the EU over the last few months, in particular as regards the measures decided by the Commission to improve the implementation of the European GMO legislation.

In presenting these measures, Commissioner DIMAS pointed out that they were aimed at improving the scientific consistency and transparency for decisions on GMOs and at developing consensus between all interested parties. These improvements consist in particular on strengthening the liaison between EFSA and national scientific bodies in order to resolve possible diverging scientific opinions with Member States. He also explained that the envisaged measures have an immediate effect and do not require any changes to the existing EU legislation and that they provide for more detailed justification of EFSA's opinions on individual applications.

This presentation was followed by an exchange of views whereby the delegations supported the Commission's measures, many delegations having commented that further steps should be taken in the future. In this context a number of delegations favoured an enhanced use of the precautionary principle in the procedures related to authorisations and risk assessment of GMOs and GMO products.

Some delegations wished, for their part, and in accordance with the conclusions adopted by the (Agriculture) Council in May 2206, that the Commission come forward, as soon as possible, with proposals setting out Community labelling thresholds for seeds.

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