Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending
Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2001/18/EC as regards the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs in their territory
- COM(2010) 375 final -
The draft regulation from technical and legislative site means amending Directive 2001/18/EC on the deliberate release of GMOs into the environment by the new Article 26b, it would set out that the restrictions or prohibitions of cultivation of authorised GM crops must be based on reasons other than effects on health or on the environment and must be in accordance with the Treaties.
Under current European Union legislation in force, Member States may adopt measures, justified by the risk that the product poses to human health or the environment (Article 23 par.1 of the Directive 2001/18/EC on the deliberate release of GMOs into the environment; Article 53 and 54 of the Regulation 178/2002/EC laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety).
National safeguard measures in force are not sufficiently scientifically justified, but the voting results in EU Council have already rejected European Commission's request to repeal these measures several times, so you can say for political stalemate.
In June 2009, a joint statement of 13 Member States* invited European Commission to develop legislative proposals to leave the decision on GMO cultivation to the Member States.
European Commission Communication of 13 July 2010** presented a legislative package in order to allow Member States free to decide whether the limit or prohibit the cultivation of genetically modified organisms throughout their territory or a part thereof, and the existing and scientifically based system of authorization of new GMOs in the EU will not change.
The legislative package contains
- Commission Recommendation of 23 July 2003 on guidelines for the development of national strategies and best practices to ensure the coexistence of genetically modified crops with conventional and organic farming, (hereinafter „recommendation on coexistence") /OJ, C 200, 22.7.2010, p. 1-5/,
- Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2001/18/EC as regards the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs in their territory (hereinafter „proposal for a Regulation"), /COM(2010) 375 final /.
New Recommendation on coexistence allows to establish GMO-free zone, but only in the event of failure to ensure a sufficient level of purity*** conventionally or organically grown crops with other measures, which must be satisfied.
In order to review the proposal the Council established an Ad hoc working group on genetically modified organisms, which began operation in September 2010.
For the Slovak Republic the working group involves representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in co-operation with the Ministry of Environment.
State administration in the cultivation of GM crops approved for cultivation is conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, section of Agriculture, Food and Trade, under the Act No. 184/2006 Coll. on the cultivation of genetically modified plants in agricultural production as amended by Act No. 78/2008 Coll. and monitoring of compliance with statutory requirements and rules of coexistence (Decree No. 69/2007 Coll.) is conducted by the Central Control and Testing Institute of Agriculture.
(*) AT, BG, IE, EL, CY, LV, LT, HU, LU, MT, NL, PL a SI.
(**)Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the freedom for Member States to decide on the cultivation of genetically modified crops, COM(2010) 380 final
(***) notice: Regulation no. 1829/2003/ES provides exemption from labeling food and feed in the presence of genetically modified material, if the amount is not higher than 0.9%, provided that this presence is adventitious or technically unavoidable.
Nationalisation of the GMO cultivation decision: "The buck has been passed to the Member States."
Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Dederer of Law Faculty of the University of Passau in Germany in an interview with internet portal GMO Safety, 2.8.2010.http://www.gmo-safety.eu/debate/1206.nationalisation-gmo-cultivation-decision-buck-passed-member-states.html