The Austrian authorities had notified the Commission that they intended to issue a decree which would require the identification of additives and flavouring produced by genetic engineering. The Commission has consulted other Member States about the proposal through the Standing Committee on Foodstuffs. Member States and the Commission have recognised that, as consumers are already informed about the presence of ingredients containing or produced from genetically modified organisms, it is important for them also to be informed about the use of additives or flavourings genetically modified or produced by genetic engineering. The Commission therefore intends to make it compulsory for the labelling of the products concerned to carry a particular comment making it clear that the additives or flavourings used have been produced by genetic engineering, according to the same principles as applied to the labelling of ingredients containing or produced from genetically modified organisms;
Whereas the most satisfactory solution to the problem posed by the draft Austrian regulations will be to draw up a Community labelling provision. The Commission will now develop the necessary draft Community provisions.
In the meantime the Commission has issued Decision 98/613/EC which requires Austria to suspend, for a period of 12 months, the adoption of its draft Decree on labelling provisions to identify additives and flavourings containing or produced from genetically modified organisms and used as food ingredients.