Food Law News - EU - 2011

Commission Midday Express, 12 December 2011

GMOs - EU extends phasing out period for traces of obsolete GM oilseed rape

The European Union decided today to extend the phasing out period for traces of obsolete (previously authorised but not commercialised anywhere as such) genetically modified (GM) oilseed rape (Ms1xRf1, Ms1xRf2 and Topas 19/2). Member States endorsed a European Commission Decision to that effect at the meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH).

The Commission based its Decision following notification of test results by stakeholders, which show that while the measures undertaken by the authorisation holder (Bayer CropScience AG) have allowed the removal of practically all the GM material from the market, minute traces (<0.1%) may still be present in food or feed chain at the end of the transitional period foreseen in the original withdrawal Decisions adopted in 20071. The presence of remaining traces after the transitional period of 5 years can be explained by the biology of oilseed rape which can remain dormant for long periods as well as by the farm practices employed to harvest the seed. The endorsed Decision provides for the extension of the current phasing out period for another five years, and requires the authorisation holder to continue to implement the measures in the original Decisions to ensure that all remaining traces are removed from the food and feed chain.

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