The European Parliament is expected to adopt two proposals on the traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms on 3 July. The two proposals will be more restrictive for producers and provide more information to consumers.
The Commission proposed on 25 July 2001 two legislative
proposals on GMOs. They set up a harmonised community system to
trace GMOs, introduce the labelling of GM feed, reinforce the
current labelling rules on GM food and establish a streamlined
authorisation procedure for GMOs in food and feed and their
deliberate release into the environment.
The proposals aim to put into place a stringent
regulatory framework and to close existing legal gaps. They address
the legitimate concerns of citizens, consumer organisations and
economic operators. A strict safety assessment of GMOs will
continue to assure a high level of health and environmental
protection. The labelling of all GM food and feed products will
allow consumers and farmers to decide if they want to buy food or
feed produced from a GMO, or not.
The package consists of:
- a proposal for a Regulation on traceability and labelling of
GMOs and products produced from GMOs (
COM 2001 – 1821 final,
25 July 2001);
- a proposal for a Regulation on GM food and feed (
COM 2001 – 425 final,
25 July 2001).
Traceability provides the means to trace
products containing or produced from GMOs through the production
and distribution chains. The general objectives are to
- control and verification of labelling claims;
- targeted monitoring of potential effects on the environment,
- withdrawal of products that contain or consist of GMOs should
an unforeseen risk to human health or the environment be
The European Parliament has the power of
co-decision on these issues. The vote in the plenary on 3 July will
follow recommendations from the Environment Committee who voted in
June to strengthen original proposals from the Commission.
The report by the Greek MEP, Antonios
Trakatellis (EPP) was adopted by a very slim majority (28 votes in
favour, 25 against) in the Environment Committee.
The Committee’s amendments on traceability and
labelling o f GMOs go much further than the original Commission’s
proposal. They call for the labelling of products (such a milk,
eggs, meat, sugar) that are derived from animals raised on