Food Law News - EU - 2006

Council Press Release, 18 December 2006

GMOs -Council Discussions on genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

The following is the report of the discussions held at the Environment Council Meeting

The Council adopted, by qualified majority, two decisions rejecting two proposals from the Commission (13764/06 and 13767/06), requesting Austria to repeal the temporary precautionary measures concerning the use and sale on its territory of two genetically modified types of maize.

On 24 June 2005, the Environment Council, acting by qualified majority, rejected the Commission proposals to repeal the Austrian safeguard measures prohibiting the use and sale of the genetically modified maize varieties MON 810 and T25.

The Commission consequently re-consulted the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which concluded, in its opinion of 29 March 2006, that there was no reason to believe that the continued placing on the market of these products was likely to cause any adverse effects for human and animal health or the environment.

Therefore in October 2006, the Commission re-submitted its proposals to repealing the Austrian safeguard measures on the grounds that there are no scientific elements to justify their maintenance which are against the principle of free movement of authorised products.

At the present session of the Council, these proposals gathered the opposition of a qualified majority of Member States.

The Council justified its decisions on the grounds that:

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