POSITION ON ENVIRONMENTAL LIABILITY PROPOSAL, COM (2002) 17

21.11.2002

POSITION ON ENVIRONMENTAL LIABILITY PROPOSAL, COM (2002) 17

Who We Are.

EuropaBio is the Association of European Biotechnology industries. Our membership comprises almost 40 companies working worldwide and 18 National Associations from the European Member States. The latter represent the interests of start-up, small and medium sized enterprises. All our members are involved in innovation, using modern biology – “biotechnology” – to provide goods and services to European and world markets. Their range of products crosses many sectors: healthcare (including medicines, diagnostic tools, vaccines); food & agriculture (including the development of improved crop plants, better food ingredients, novel food production and processing aids); and industrial manufacturing (including new production systems).

During the past 20 years, biotechnology has delivered important benefits through new and improved products and through manufacturing processes that result in reduced inputs, energy consumption, and toxic waste production1. EuropaBio and its membership are committed to responsible environmental stewardship of biotechnology activities and its products.

 

How The Proposal Affects Us: Strict Liability (Liability Without Fault Or Negligence).

Biotechnology activities and products derived through biotechnology are regulated at Community level2. This is not because they are inherently more “risky” than traditional technologies. In fact, biotechnology derived products are recognised as inherently as safe as their traditionally developed counterparts3. Asis the case with products derived through more “traditional” means, biotechnology products can not be guaranteed to present a zero risk.

In undertaking biotechnology activities, or placing biotechnology derived products on the market, the rigorous EU regulatory regime evaluates potential risks associated with these and permits only those activities or products deemed not to present unacceptable risk.

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