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Imports of GM food and feed: Right of Member States to opt out [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Tarja Laaninen (2nd edition)
GMO-free sign

© ylivdesign / Fotolia

All genetically modified organisms (GMOs) need authorisation before they can be placed on the EU market. However, a qualified majority among the Member States has never been reached either in favour of or against any authorisation proposal put forward by the Commission.

The Commission has therefore concluded that the legal framework for decision-making on genetically modified (GM) food and feed needs to be adapted, and proposes to extend to GM food and feed the solution agreed by the European Parliament and the Council on GMO cultivation. The Member States would thus be allowed to restrict or prohibit the use of genetically modified food and feed on their territory, despite it being authorised at EU level.

Stakeholders have been critical of the proposal, claiming that it jeopardises the internal market, would cause serious distortions to competition and leave measures taken by Member States vulnerable to legal challenge.


Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 as regards the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the use of genetically modified food and feed on their territory
Committee responsible:
Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)

Giovanni La Via (EPP, Italy)

COM(2015) 177
of 22.4.2015

procedure ref.: 2015/0093(COD)

Ordinary legislative procedure

Next steps expected: Exchange of views in ENVI Committee on 15 July



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