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Parliamentary questions
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21 March 2019
Joint answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the European Commission
Written questions: E-000219/19 , E-000185/19
Question references: E-000185/2019, E-000219/2019

The objective of Directive 2001/18/EC(1) is to protect human health and the environment in case of releases of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the environment. The authorisation procedure requires a science-based case-by-case risk assessment of potential adverse effects for humans, animals and the environment.

One of the key objectives of the Commission's policies related to Small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups(2) is to promote a business environment conducive to sustainable growth and competitiveness of small businesses across the EU.

Member States are responsible for the enforcement of the GMO legislation. The Commission has requested the European Union Reference Laboratory for Genetically Modified Food and Feed and the European Network of GMO laboratories to prepare a report on the current and future possibilities and limitations regarding the detection of food or feed obtained by new mutagenesis techniques. The report should be finalised by mid 2019. The Commission and the Member States’ competent authorities are currently discussing the implications of the Court ruling in terms of implementation, with a view to a harmonised enforcement. At this stage, there are no plans to put forward new legislative proposals concerning the GMO legislation.

Finally, products placed on the market in the EU, whether imported or produced in the EU, have to fulfil the requirements of the EU legislation. The burden of proof is on economic operators, including verification that unauthorised GMOs are not placed on the market and that traceability and labelling rules for authorised GMOs (as set by the EU legislation) are fulfilled.

(1)Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 March 2001 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms and repealing Council Directive 90/220/EEC, OJ L 106, 17.4.2001, p. 1-39.

Last updated: 3 April 2019Legal notice