Food Law News - EU - 1998
1 May 1998: NOVEL FOODS - EC Regulation on Labelling of Genetically Modified
MAFF/DoH Letter 1 May 1998
EC Regulation on Labelling of Genetically Modified Soya and Maize
Following discussions, some changes have been made to the proposed controls:
- There is widespread support for the idea of removing all references to ‘may contain’ labelling
- All member states agree that food ingredients which contain neither novel DNA nor novel protein will not require labelling.
- Most Member States support the idea of a list of ingredients which contain no genetically modified material and would not need to be labelled. At present, this list is restricted to refined oils, although several member states also wish to add ingredients derived from hydrolysed maize starch such as glucose, and fructose syrup.
- The concept of a de-minims threshold is widely accepted. however Member states are of the view that the practicalities of such an approach need to be considered further.
- The possibility of abbreviating the words ‘produced from genetically modified’ soya to ‘genetically modified’ is supported by all Member States.
- Most Member States also accept that implementation 20 days after publication in the Official Journal would be impractical and would prefer this to be amended to 90 days.
The proposal will now be discussed at COREPER on 8 May in preparation for a final consideration at the Internal Market Council on 18 May. The Commission is still reflecting on the discussion but has not so far indicated that it is prepared to offer any amendments. The European Parliament is also considering the matter on 15 May. The choice at this stage is therefore very limited: the Commission proposal as it stands or modified in line with the Presidency amendments if agreed unanimously by the Council.
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