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Parliamentary questions
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27 March 2019
P-000804/2019(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-000804/2019

The Commission is fully committed to the safety of European consumers and that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)-related EU legislation(1) is fully respected when importing commodities from non-EU countries, irrespective of whether the product originates in a country that has concluded a free trade agreement with the EU or not.

Official controls to verify that imported products are in line with EU requirements are carried out by the EU Member States(2). On top of this system, the Commission carries out audits on the official control systems of Member States and countries exporting to the EU to verify they are effective.

Only authorised GMOs can be legally exported to the EU, regardless whether this is Genetically Modified (GM) salmon or a GM crop. Canada has affirmed that only products complying with EU provisions are exported to the EU.

Export certification can be based on laboratory analysis, on traceability or on a combination of both. Product traceability is and remains an effective basis for certification. However, for export certification based solely on traceability, upstream traceability is a prerequisite. Products imported into Canada without traceability records would not qualify for onward export based only on traceability, independent of the nature of the product.

As for the labelling allowing an informed choice to EU consumer, all products on the EU market containing or derived from GMOs, are compulsorily labelled(3), regardless of the origin of the products.

(1)https://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/gmo/legislation_en
(2)https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/official_controls/legislation_en
(3)Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 on genetically modified food and feed (OJ L 268, 18.10.2003, p. 1).

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