Biotech Updates

Commission Announces Proposal for GM Planting Choice for Member States

March 5, 2010

The Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli has been given an order to develop and submit a proposal by the European Union President Jose Manuel Barroso, on how a Community authorization system based on science can be combined with freedom of choice to plant GM crops on their respective territories. This came up after the comprehensive authorization procedure were granted for the amflora potato to be planted in the EU for industrial use, and the Amflora's starch by-products as feed. In addition, three approvals for food and feed uses and import and processing were granted to MON863xMON810, MON863xNK603, MON863xMON810xNK603. The five approvals were initially subjected to a strict study by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the antibiotic resistance issues and were given favorable opinion in 11 June 2009.

Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli noted that "Responsible innovation will be my guiding principle when dealing with innovative technologies. After an extensive and thorough review of the five pending GM files, it became clear to me that there were no new scientific issues that merited further assessment. All scientific issues, particularly those concerning safety, had been fully addressed. Any delay would have simply been unjustified. By taking these decisions, the European Commission fulfils its role in a responsible manner. These decisions are based on a series of favorable safety assessments carried out over the years by the EFSA. In parallel we have today launched a reflection on how to combine a European authorization system with the freedom of Member States to decide on cultivation on GMOs."

See the press release at "