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Parliamentary questions
PDF 102kWORD 18k
17 December 2018
Question for written answer P-006327-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Tilly Metz (Verts/ALE) , Thomas Waitz (Verts/ALE) , Bart Staes (Verts/ALE) , Maria Heubuch (Verts/ALE) , Martin Häusling (Verts/ALE) , José Bové (Verts/ALE) , Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE)

 Subject:  Presence of antimicrobial-resistant genetically modified bacteria in animal feed
 Answer in writing 

Unauthorised genetically modified bacteria (Bacillus subtilis KCCM-10445) have been found in hundreds of thousands of tons of feed commercialised in the EU. The bacteria, engineered to produce vitamin B2, have contaminated batches of said vitamin. The bacteria have been rendered resistant to antimicrobials, making them a threat to animal and human health.

Although the first contaminations were reported through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASSF) in 2014, the Commission did not ban this additive until September 2018, on the basis of an opinion issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in March 2018. In October 2016 a joint study by the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) and other EU authorities had concluded that the additive should be banned.

1. How does the Commission explain the 47-month delay between the first alert on the RASSF and the decision to ban the product, when EU citizens’ health was clearly in danger?

2. Does it consider that the lack of cooperation of the Vitamin Authorisation Consortium, which refused to let EFSA access relevant samples, contributed to these delays? What measures will it put in place to prevent such a situation in the future?

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