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Commission proposes to repeal national bans on GMO maize in Austria, Italy and Luxembourg

The European Commission is proposing the adoption of measures which would oblige Austria, Italy and Luxembourg to repeal national provisions restricting or prohibiting the use and/or the sale of genetically modified (GMO) maize on their territory.

Following the Opinion of thr...
The European Commission is proposing the adoption of measures which would oblige Austria, Italy and Luxembourg to repeal national provisions restricting or prohibiting the use and/or the sale of genetically modified (GMO) maize on their territory.

Following the Opinion of three Scientific Committees (Scientific Committee for Food, Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition, and Scientific Committee on Pesticides), the Commission has decided to put forward draft Commission Decisions requiring the three Member States to repeal their bans on GMO maize. The draft Decisions will be submitted to the Regulatory Committee established under Directive 90/220/EEC on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms (OJ No L 117 of 8.5.1990).

In taking its decision, the Commission carefully considered the question of monitoring of insect resistance to Bt which is a gene contained in the maize. The gene has the effect of a low dose of antibiotics, making the plant less vulnerable to insects. However, the risk is that continued but low doses of this antibiotic develops a resistance in these insects that could cause problems at a later stage. The Commission decided, however, to confirm its decision of December 1996 giving priority to the implementation of a plan to monitor insect resistance to Bt.

In this context, the Commission intends shortly to propose a revision of Directive 90/220/EEC. The revision will, among other issues, deal with labelling, scientific evaluation, comitology and monitoring.

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