GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS: DELIBERATE
RELEASE INTO THE ENVIRONMENT (5250/07)
Letter from Phil Woolas MP, Minister for
the Environment, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,
to the Chairman
I am writing to inform you of the outcome of
the European Parliament's first reading of this draft Directive
which took place on 12-15 November. This is in advance of the
Presidency seeking political agreement at Council.
Eight amendments were originally proposed by the
EP Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.
The majority of these amendments were outwith the scope of Commission
Decision 2006/512 which provides for the "regulatory procedure
with scrutiny" to be applied to the non-essential elements
of a basic instrument. In order to reach an agreement on this
dossier at first reading a number of informal contacts were made
between the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission
as a result of which nine compromise amendments were made. These
amendments do only apply the new procedure to the non-essential
elements. The Plenary therefore adopted the nine compromise amendments
and none of the Committee's original amendments.
The key amendments are:
A requirement to apply the regulatory
procedure with scrutiny to the setting of threshold levels for
the technically unavoidable presence of authorised GMOs in products
intended for direct processing. This amendment is consistent with
requirement for the setting of labelling thresholds in the proposed
A requirement to amend the Safeguard
Article of Directive 2001/18/EC to make it clear that it only
applies to the Member State notifying the safeguard action. This
amendment does not require the regulatory committee with scrutiny
procedures to be applied to safeguard actions as that would be
outwith the requirements of Commission Decision 2006/512/EC which
relate to involving the European Parliament on amendments to the
technical requirements of the Directive only.
A requirement to apply the new procedures
to the conditions for implementing the labelling of genetically
modified organisms in contained use.
The amendments adopted correspond to what was
agreed between the three institutions and ought therefore to be
acceptable to the Council. As the amendments are of a technical
nature which only concern the committee procedures, they do not
need to be transposed by the Member States.
19 December 2007