What is the approval process for GM crops, food and feed in the EU?

  1. Risk assessment is done on a case-by-case and step-by-step basis.
  2. When the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has completed the environmental, human and animal health safety assessment, its recommendation, if positive, forms the basis of a Draft Decision for approval by the European Commission. 
  3. Post-release monitoring, traceability and labelling: Monitoring plans need to be approved prior to marketing the product. Traceability is ensured by labelling and administrative records throughout the food chain. 
  4. Public information: Throughout the approval process, information is provided to the public.
  5. Subsidiarity: Even in the European single market, responsibility for some issues may be passed back to Member States, such as the co-existence of GM, non-GM and organic crops. 
  6. Compliance with international trade rules: EU legislation is in line with the international trade requirements of WTO (it is clear, transparent and non discriminatory) and with the trans-boundary movement rules of the UN Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. However, the political nature of the approval process in practice has led to WTO disputes because of trade disruption. 

Latest Faq