Food Law News - EU - 2011

Commission Midday Express, 23 February 2011

GMOs: Harmonisation of controls for GM material in feed endorsed by Member States

Member States endorsed yesterday a Commission proposal that shall harmonise the implementation of the zero tolerance policy on non-authorised genetically modified (GM) material in feed. It addresses the current uncertainty EU operators face when placing on the market feed based on imports of raw materials from third countries.

The technical solution endorsed in yesterday's meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) will lead to a specific set of procedures – to be used by all Member States. This will ensure that results are consistent in all Member States. It will also improve the legal certainty for importers of feed from third countries who will be able to apply the same procedures. Different maize products (four million tons imported in the 2008-09 season) and soybean products (33 million tons in soya meal equivalents in the 2008-09 season) imported mainly from Argentina, Brazil and the US are an essential supplement for the EU's livestock sector.

The adopted measure defines the lowest level of GM presence (LLP) that is considered by the EU GMO Reference Laboratory when validating detection methods (it is set at 0.1%). It is limited to GM feed material authorised for commercialisation in a third country and for which an authorisation procedure is pending in the EU or of which the EU authorisation has expired. Feed will be considered non-compliant with EU legislation when the presence of this GM feed material is, after due consideration of the margin of error, above the technical zero.

The draft Regulation is now subject to the scrutiny of the European Parliament and of the Council for three months. If none of these institutions oppose to the draft Regulation, it will be adopted by the Commission.

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