On the basis of Directive 90/220/EEC on the release of genetically modified organisms, on 3 April 1996 and 23 January 1997 respectively the Commission authorised the placing on the market of a genetically modified variety of soya beans and a genetically modified variety of maize. As Directive 90/220/EEC does not contain any labelling provisions and the Novel Food Regulation, which has since introduced such rules, had not yet been adopted, food produced from the two genetically modified varieties of soya and maize could be marketed without any special indication on the label.
The entry into force of the Novel Food Regulation on 15 May 1997 did not alter this situation, since it only applies to food which at this date was not yet marketed on a considerable scale.
In order to be able to apply the marketing provisions provided for in Article 8 of the Novel Food Regulation to maize and soya products it was therefore necessary to have a separate Regulation.
The Commission took its decision with the unanimous agreement of the Standing Committee for Foodstuffs. The Regulation will enter into force on 1 November 1997.
For previous related item, see 25 July 1997.