The Multidisciplinary Scientific Committee of the European Commission met for the first time, on 3 April 1997, in the new structure recently agreed by the Commission. The most important items on the agenda were: - The role and mandate of a new Scientific Committee for the risk evaluation of genetically modified organisms; - The review of the conditions for inactivation of the BSE agents during the industrial production of gelatine. The Committee agreed on the necessity of establishing a specific Scientific Committee to advise the Commission on the use and commercialization of genetically modified organisms and of products containing genetically modified organisms. On the other issue, the Committee definitively stressed that the technical treatment conditions set out in Commission Decision 96/362/EC of 11 June 1996 do not adequately guarantee the inactivation of the BSE agent. In such circumstances the Committee underlined that only non-infected primary bovine material can ensure a totally safe gelatine. It should be pointed out that the Commission's decision of 11 June set out a number of pre-conditions which, when met, would allow the Commission to consider the lifting of the export ban on UK bovine-derived gelatine. To date the UK authorities have not informed the Commission that these pre-conditions have been fulfilled. Furthermore in the light of information which became available to the Commission after the 11 June decision which cast some doubt on the scientific basis of that decision, Mr Fischler has on a number of occasions emphasized that no approval for the export of UK bovine-derived gelatine would be granted by the Commission until such time as the Commission was satisfied, on the basis of scientific evidence, as to the treatment and processing procedures necessary to ensure the products safety. Ms Emma Bonino, Commissioner responsible for Consumer Policy and Consumer Health Protection, declared today that she would "draw the attention of the Commission to the necessity of taking into account this advice of the Scientific Committee in reexamining its decision of 11 June 1996 concerning the partial and conditional lifting of the ban on gelatine exports derived from British bovine products".