Food Law News - EU - 2007


Council Minutes, 16 July 2007

GMOs - Council Discussions on Genetically Modified Potato

Extract from the minutes of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council Meeting, 16 July 2007

In accordance with committee procedure rules, the Council was asked to adopt a position, by qualified majority, on a Commission proposal for a Decision authorising the placing on the market of a potato product (Solanum tuberosum L. line EH92-527-1) genetically modified for enhanced content of the amylopectin component of starch.

The Council confirmed that the qualified majority required in order to act on the Commission proposal could not be reached. The decision on this proposal will therefore be taken by the Commission.

Background Potato product (Solanum tuberosum L. line EH92-527-1) genetically modified for enhanced content of the amylopectin component of starch.

When the Swedish authorities received from BASF Plant Science a notification concerning the placing on the market of a potato genetically modified for enhanced content of the amylopectin component of starch, they sent their assessment report to the Commission; the report concluded that the genetically modified potato should be placed on the market for industrial uses.

The Commission forwarded the assessment report to all other Member States, some of which raised objections to the placing on the market of the product, in terms of molecular characterisation, allergenicity, toxicity, an inadequate monitoring plan and the detection method of the product.

In light of these objections, the Commission consulted the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which delivered its opinion on 24 February 2006 concluding that, from all evidence provided, the genetically modified potato was unlikely to have an adverse effect on human and animal health or the environment in the context of its proposed uses.

On 4 December 2006 the Commission consulted the relevant regulatory committee, which was unable to reach the qualified majority required in order to give an opinion.

On 13 June 2007 the Commission accordingly submitted a proposal to the Council, which should act by a qualified majority within three months from that date (i.e. by 13 September 2007).


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