Maladministration on GMOs by the EU Commission Distorting Markets

Date

08 Apr 2016

Sections

Agriculture & Food
Health & Consumers

Press release

Brussels, 8 April 2016 – EuropaBio is highly concerned that the EU Commission continues the same practices of maladministration which were criticised by the European Ombudsman as recently as January 2016[1]. Three genetically modified soya bean products have been pending in the EU product approval system since 2011 and 2012 respectively, including nearly three months and counting[2] for the last step of authorisation by the Commission.

The European Ombudsman decided in January: “In circumstances where, presumably, the substantive work on the individual case had already been done in advance of engaging with the Standing Committee and Appeal Committee, it is difficult to see why the Commission would need a further 3.5 months in which to take its decision. Given that a further delay at this stage might have adverse consequences for the complainants, and in the absence of any reasonable explanation for these delays, the Ombudsman finds that these delays by the Commission constituted maladministration.”

Nathalie Moll, EuropaBio Secretary General, urges the Commission to take its responsibility: “We call on the Commission to immediately finalise the adoption of these authorisation proposals at its college meeting of 12th April, in accordance with the existing legal requirements of Regulation 1829/2003 and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, so as to avoid any additional undue delays.

Given we are currently in the sowing season, the Commission’s maladministration regarding these three products is already creating concrete market disruption and material damage.

 

ENDS

 

For media inquiries, please contact:

Beat Späth

Agricultural Biotechnology Director, EuropaBio

b.spaeth@europabio.org

Telephone: +32 2 739 11 79

http://www.europabio.org

 

References:

·         Decision of the European Ombudsman on the European Commission’s handling of authorisation applications for genetically modified food and feed.

·         Reactions to the Ombudsman Decision: EuropaBio press releaseBriefing noteEuropaBio, COCERAL and FEFAC joint statement.

·         Factsheet: What is the approval process for import of GMOs in the EU?, EuropaBio, July 2014.

·         Position paper: Call for a functioning, evidence-based EU policy on GMOs, EU Food and Feed Chain , May 2015.

·         Position paperFive reasons for the Commission to continue granting Europe’s livestock farmers freedom of choice, EuropaBio, April 2015.

 

About EuropaBio:

EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, promotes an innovative and dynamic European biotechnology industry. EuropaBio and its members are committed to the socially responsible use of biotechnology to improve quality of life, to prevent, diagnose, treat and cure diseases, to improve the quality and quantity of food and feedstuffs and to move towards a biobased and zero-waste economy. EuropaBio represents 77 corporate and associate members and bio regions, and 16 national biotechnology associations in turn representing over 1800 biotech SMEs.

 

[1] Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 1582/2014/PHP on the European Commission's handling of authorisation applications for genetically modified food and feed, published 19 January 2016. http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/cases/decision.faces/en/63025/html.bookmark

[2] These products are: MON87705 x MON89788 (high oleic x glyphosate), MON87708 x MON89788 (dicamba x glyphosate) and FG72 (glyphosate x HPPD).  They were most recently voted on by the EU Member States in the  Appeal Committee on 11 January 2016: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/health_food-safety/dgs_consultations/docs/gmffer/gmffer_20160111_sum_en.pdf