European Commission must comply with EU laws on GM approvals


In its decision, the ECJ “declares that the European Commission has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 18 of Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 March 2001 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms and repealing Council Directive 90/220/EEC by failing to submit to the Council a proposal relating to the measures to be taken pursuant to Article 5(4) of Council Decision of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission”.

European Commission must comply with EU laws on GM approvals

EuropaBio welcomes today’s decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) confirming that the European Commission is legally obliged to follow EU laws as regards the GM authorization process. In its decision, the ECJ said that the EC must stick to the legally prescribed processes and timelines, and cannot misuse bureaucratic processes to delay the authorisation of a regulated product – in this case one that was found to be fully safe by EU safety assessors. Seven positive EFSA opinions were published on this product since its submission for approval 12 years ago. This case illustrates the failures of the EU GM authorization procedure with an increasing backlog of products waiting in the system. To date, 50 GM crop products still need to be assessed by EFSA, and 21 are awaiting Commission and Member State action. What is needed is a science-based, predictable and workable system for GM approvals in compliance with EU law.


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