New breeding techniques have been under discussion in Europe since 2008. The legal interpretation within the current regulatory framework concerning many of these techniques has been awaited for a long time: initially, the Commission was to have clarified matters by the end of 2015. The most recent indication is that they will become clearer only by the end of this year.
1. Can the Commission indicate what steps it has taken and what steps it intends to take in order to speed up the legal analysis?
2. Does the Commission consider that the lack of a clear legal framework could have damaging legal consequences? If not, why not? And does the Commission consider that a protracted period of uncertainty will result in innovative sectors and fundamental research moving from Europe to third countries? If not, why not?
3. Why is the Commission blocking countries which wish to grant ‘growing trial’ status for some new breeding techniques, and what are the consequences if Member States do not abide by this?
1. The Commission’s reflection on the scope of the current Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) legislation is ongoing.
2. The Commission would like to note that the applicable EU-legislation for the placing on the market of GMOs is in place. Where products fall under the scope of the GMO legislation, all the corresponding provisions for approving authorisation for use in food and feed are applicable, whether produced in the EU or imported.
3. The Commission does not wish to prevent the administrative functioning of the Member States. The Commission would like to underline that in any event, its legal interpretations are not binding as only the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has the competence to give the final interpretation of the EU legislation.