Food Law News - EU - 2009

Midday Express, 10 February 2009

GMOs - Commission decision on Austrian safeguard clauses regarding maize MON810 and T25

Today the Commission submitted to the Council two proposals addressed to Austria, asking it to repeal its safeguard measures on the cultivation of GM maize lines MON810 and T25. These measures were adopted by Austria in 1999 and 2000 for MON810 and T25 respectively.

Austria initiated work to collect any relevant scientific evidence which in its view would justify provisionally the maintenance of the safeguard measure, in particular in reference to "the different agricultural structures and regional ecological characteristics" as indicated in recital 3 of the Council Decision of 18 December. In November 2007, Austria submitted to the Commission the scientific information that resulted out of its work. Subsequently, on 18 April 2008 the Commission requested EFSA to assess the information submitted by Austria to support its safeguard measures.

On 4 December 2008, EFSA adopted its opinion (published on 11 December 2008) concluding that the scientific evidence currently available does not sustain the arguments provided by Austria, and that cultivation of maize lines MON810 and T25 is unlikely to have an adverse effect on human and animal health and the environment in Austria.Under these circumstances, Austria should repeal its safeguard measure with regards to the use and sale of seeds of maize lines MON810 and T25.

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