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Evaluation reports on EU’s GMO legislation confirm need for major improvements

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Originalmeldung von European Seed Association (ESA) | Brüssel
Original-URL: http://www.euroseeds.org/home/latest-news
Der Europäische Saatgutverband (ESA) findet klare Worte: "... the EU’s authorisation system for cultivation of GM crops does not work.”

EU seed industry urges Commission to finally address presence of GMOs in seed and fields

Finally, the long awaited evaluation reports on the EU’S legislation on the cultivation and food and feed use of GMOs have been published by the European Commission. While the evaluations had already started in 2009, these final reports had been delayed again and again, allegedly in order to first agree Commission internally on the way forward and here in particular on how to link the report’s conclusions to the different policy initiatives undertaken over the past year. In short, specifically the report on the cultivation legislation confirms that the EU’s legal framework does not function as intended. Not only are decisions unduly delayed, e.g. in comparison to similar authorisation procedures in other parts of the world. But foremost, the EU’s system is blocked by an inherent inability to take any decision at all - which leaves companies and public research institutes in legal and financial limbo.

“The report is clear in its finding: the EU’s authorisation system for cultivation of GM crops does not work.”, confirms Garlich v. Essen, Secretary General of ESA, the European Seed Association, who points to the lack of new approvals ever since the new legislation was adopted in 2011. “Actually, any different appreciation of the performance record of the past 10 years would have been a surprise”.

But the plant breeding and seed industry is worried that the Commission seems to concentrate on only a few and quite limited areas where it intends to follow-up the evaluation by further political and regulatory actions. In its press release of 28 October which accompanied the publication of the evaluation reports, the Commission underlines that the most important point –the unblocking of the authorisation of new GM events- is already addressed by its much criticised proposal to re-nationalise the authorisation for cultivation while maintaining the EU-level safety assessment. “The European seed sector has always underlined that such an approach is unworkable with a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for the inevitable mixing of GM and non-GM production in seed and fields. And the report clearly underlines that this policy is causing a growing dis-harmonisation and legal uncertainty for agri-food operators. We therefore urge the Commission to now address this issue as a matter of utmost urgency in the coming months”, Garlich v. Essen calls upon the EU executive.

If you want to read the complete evaluation report, please click here