Food Law News - EU - 1998

22 January 1998: NOVEL FOODS - Proposed European Commission Regulation on Labelling of GM Soya and Maize

MAFF Letter, 22 January 1998

Proposed European Commission Regulation on Labelling of GM Soya and Maize

Following the previous MAFF letter of the
5 January 1998, the Commission proposal was discussed at the EC Standing Committee for Foodstuffs on 15 January. Most Member States considered that the proposal as drafted was in need of further improvement. However, as expected the Commission then put their proposals unamended to a vote. In the event only four Member States voted in favour of the proposed Commission Regulation.

Having failed to secure a qualified majority at the Standing Committee, the Commission is now obliged to submit a proposal to the Council of Ministers without delay. It is expected that the Commission will put the same proposal to the Internal Market Council on 30 March.

Unless the Council agrees to amend the proposal unanimously the regulation will almost certainly be adopted in the next few months. However, the UK will consider what further can be done to persuade the Commission to improve its proposal. The Ministry suggests that those companies selling foods containing soya or maize ingredients that are likely to be covered by this Regulation, but which have not yet made arrangements to change their labels to declare the presence of GM material, may therefore wish to consider doing so now.

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