Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Food Law News - EU - 2014

Council Press Release, 11 February 2014

GMOs - Council discussions: Genetically modified maize (1507)

The following is an extract from the General Affairs Council meeting:

A Commission proposal for a decision to authorise the placing on the market for cultivation of the genetically modified maize 1507, which is resistant to certain insects (butterfly pests), was presented to the Council for adoption (16120/13).

No agreement was reached either in favour of or against the authorisation.

Following the submission of an initial application for authorisation of the maize 1507, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was consulted, as provided for by directive 2001/18. EFSA issued several favourable scientific opinions according to which the placing on the market of the maize 1507 is unlikely to have adverse effects on human and animal health or the environment.

On that basis, the European Commission drew up a proposal for authorising the maize and presented it to a regulatory committee (the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, SCoFCAH). At its meeting in February 2009, SCoFCAH was unable to reach the qualified majority necessary to deliver an opinion for or against the authorisation proposed by the Commission. In the absence of an opinion, it was up to the Council to act on the Commission proposal within a three-month period (running from 12 November 2013).

Now that the Council has been unable to reach a qualified majority neither for nor against the proposal, it is up to the Commission to authorise the maize 1507.

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