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Commission proposes further labelling of genetically modified organisms

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for an amendment to the Directive (90/220/EEC) which relates to the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms. The proposal aims to take account of technical progress in the field. It will require ...

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for an amendment to the Directive (90/220/EEC) which relates to the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms. The proposal aims to take account of technical progress in the field. It will require those placing genetically modified organisms on the market to include additional specific labels on the products, indicating that they contain, or may contain, genetically modified organisms. In addition, in the dossier notifying the Commission of the marketing of such products, the producer will have to include molecular data, in a format which will be entered into a potential register. The new labelling requirements will be introduced as a transitional measure, pending the full revision of the Directive, for which the Commission intends to publish a proposal shortly. The Commission will seek the opinion of the regulatory committee before formally adopting the new proposals. The new labelling requirements will only apply to those seeking approval for products in the future. They will not apply to those products already approved, or for the 11 products for which approval has been requested. In view of this, the Commission intends to invite producers of these products to label them voluntarily. Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard, responsible for the environment, who presented the proposal, stated that the Commission was responding as quickly as possible to public concern on the labelling of these products. She stressed that this current proposal was only a first step, and would be followed by a proposal for a comprehensive revision of Directive 90/220/EEC within the next few months.