Press release

Renationalising EU market authorisations for GMOs threatens internal market for agri-food products

EU Food and Feed Chain partners reject latest EC proposal

Brussels, 22 April 2015 - EU Food and feed chain partners rejected today the European Commissions’ latest proposal which attempts to renationalize EU market authorisations of genetically modified crops for feed and food use.
 
Ensuring that current legislation is properly implemented should have been the main priority of the Commission instead of trying to change the present market authorisation procedure.
 
Speaking on behalf of EU Food and Feed Chain partners, Pekka Pesonen, Copa-Cogeca Secretary General warned the European Commission about the adverse economic and social impact of this proposal which was released today. “It will seriously threaten the Internal Market for food and feed products, causing substantial job losses and lower investment in the agri-food chain in “opt-out” countries. This would cause serious distortions of competition for all EU agri-food chain partners”, he stressed.
 
The EU food and feed chain partners urge the EU Parliament and Council to reject the Commission’s proposal which amounts to renationalisation and would reverse the economic achievements of the European Customs Union and the Single Market.
 

It is the principal political, administrative and legal responsibility of EU policy makers to defend and properly implement EU internal market and related legislation. With the renationalisation of genetically modified authorisations and consequent restrictions on the free movement and use of products within the internal market, the Commission has failed in its role and responsibility as “Guardian of the EU treaties”. Today’s announced initiative also strongly calls into question the EU’s own political priorities on “jobs and growth” and on the “better and smart regulation agenda”.

Notes to the editor (list of FFC members)

a.v.e.c. is since 1966 representing and promoting the interests of the European poultry meat sector. Members are national organisations representing poultry processors and the poultry trade in 16 EU countries with about 95% of the EU poultry meat production. The European poultry meat business employs more than 300 000 citizens and has a turnover of more than 32 billion Euros.
 
COCERAL is the European association of cereals, rice, feedstuffs oilseeds, olive oil, oils and fats and agrosupply trade. It represents the interest of the European collectors, traders, importers, exporters and port silo storekeepers of the above mentioned agricultural products. COCERAL’s full members are 26 national associations in 18 countries, and 1 European association [Unistock]. With about 2500 companies as part of COCERAL national members, the sector trades agricultural raw materials destined to the supply of the food and feed chains, as well as for technical and energy uses.
 
Copa-Cogeca is the united voice of farmers and agri-cooperatives in the EU. Together, they ensure that EU agriculture is sustainable, innovative and competitive, guaranteeing food security to half a billion people throughout Europe. Copa represents over 23 million farmers and their families whilst Cogeca represents the interests of 22,000 agricultural cooperatives. They have 66 member organisations from the EU member states.
 
ESA European Seed Association is the voice of the European seed sector, representing those active in research, breeding, production and marketing of seeds. Its membership consists of more 36 national seed associations, representing more than 7000 seed businesses, and of more than 60 individual company members.
 
EuropaBio is the European Association of BioIndustries. Our members are involved in research, development, testing, manufacturing and commercialisation of biotech products and processes in human and animal healthcare, diagnostics, bioinformatics, chemicals, crop protection, agriculture, food and environmental products and services. EuropaBio also counts a number of National Biotech Associations in its membership who in turn represent more than 1800 biotech SMEs.
 
The European Flour Millers’ association is the voice of the European flour milling industry. It gathers the national associations from 28 European countries. They represent 3 800 companies employing some 45 000 people. With some 45 million t of agricultural commodities processed in the EU each year, the sector is the largest single food user of EU domestic wheat, rye and oats.
 
EUVEPRO is the European Vegetable Protein Federation representing the interest of the producers of vegetable proteins for human consumption in the EU.
 
FEDIOL, the EU vegetable oil and proteinmeal industry association, represents the interests of the European seed and bean crushers, meal producers, vegetable oils producers, refiners and bottlers. FEDIOL’s members are 12 national associations and associated company members in 5 other EU countries. With about 150 facilities in Europe the sector provides 20.000 direct employments. Its members process approximately 36 million tonnes of basic products a year, both of EU origin and imported from third country markets.
 
FEFAC is the European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Federation. FEFAC represents 24 national Associations in 23 EU Member States as well as Associations in Switzerland, Turkey, Croatia, Serbia, Russia and Norway with observer/associate member status, and is the only independent spokesman of the European Compound Feed Industry at the level of the European Institutions. The European compound feed industry employs over 110,000 persons on app. 4,000 production sites often in rural areas, which offer few employment opportunities.
 
The Federation of European Rice Millers is the voice of the European rice milling industry. FERM is made up of 21 company members from around Europe as well as 3 national rice milling associations of Italy, Spain and Portugal. In representing over 90% of the milling capacity in Europe it is able to reflect credibly and authoritatively the interests of the industry.
 
Starch Europe is the trade association which represents the interests of the EU starch industry both at European and international level. Its membership comprises 24 EU starch producing companies, together representing more than 95% of the EU starch industry, and in associate membership, 7 national starch industry associations. Before October 2014 Starch Europe was called the AAF.
 
The European Livestock and Meat Trades Union (UECBV) represents national federations of livestock traders, meat industry, and meat traders. Through its 52 national member federations, UECBV is the voice for some 20,000 trading and industrial companies.
 
Unistock Europe is the only European association of professional storekeepers for agribulk commodities in the European Union. Unistock Europe full members are present in 11 countries. With a total of approximately 79 port silos facilities Unistock Europe proactively represents the united voice for the agri-bulk storage sector towards the EU authorities. Unistock Europe is a full member of COCERAL.