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Tuesday, 15 February 2000 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Additives in feedingstuffs

  Kindermann (PSE).(DE) Mr President, this proposal to amend the 1970 directive on additives in feedingstuffs is the first in a whole series of proposals on the subject of feedingstuffs. In other words, we shall be discussing other proposals here in Parliament over the next few months. That this subject is of paramount importance is borne out by the huge public attention which the dioxin, antibiotic, sludge and other scandals have attracted. In other words, this is an important facet of public health protection, which is why we believe that Article 152 should be taken as the legal base, not Article 37, as proposed by the Commission.

The amendment which the Commission has proposed, namely equal treatment for additives authorised before or after 31 December 1987, is uncontested and has our full support. However, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development has voted unanimously on some important amendments to the Commission proposal.

The regulation proposed by the Commission conceals the danger of creating a marketing monopoly for certain additives. Only companies which obtained the original authorisation will have the right to apply and companies which obtained authorisation at a later date will be excluded. This sort of monopoly, which could lead, for example, to an increase in the price of feedingstuffs, should be prevented by granting provisional authorisation to all companies which had marketed a specific substance by 1 April 1998. This would then apply until the re-assessment procedure has been completed.

The most important amendment to the Commission proposal is the inclusion, as recommended by the rapporteur, of genetically-modified organisms in the directive on additives, taking the compromise negotiated between Parliament and the Commission on authorisation for GMOs outside the scope of the release directive as the starting point. This already gives us a basis for the authorisation of GMOs. It is therefore only logical that we make provision for genetically modified feedingstuff additives in this case, just as we have in regulations already passed in other areas, such as forest reproductive material, to mention just one example.

The labelling of genetically-modified additives is particularly important in this respect. On the one hand, it enables farmers to make an informed decision as to whether or not they wish to use such feedingstuffs and, on the other hand, it enables consumers to avoid foodstuffs produced using GMOs.

Finally, our group should like once again to thank the rapporteur, who has gone to a great deal of trouble. I think that we can all hardly wait to hear Mr Byrne’s reply.

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