Select Committee on European Union Twenty-Second Report


Sub-Committee D's Call for evidence

Sub-Committee D, under the chairmanship of the Earl of Selborne, is conducting an inquiry into the European Commission's proposals for assessment, authorisation, traceability and labelling of genetically modified (GM) food and animal feed, including products derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) (COM (2001) 182 and 425).

The inquiry will focus on the issues of traceability and labelling and the implications of the proposals for consumers and third countries. In particular answers will be sought to the following questions:

    1.  Do these proposals adequately address the requirements of European consumers for regulation, traceability and labelling of GM food and feed and of food and feed products derived from GMOs?

    2.  Do they make sensible distinctions between the requirements of animal feed and those of food for human consumption?

    3.  How effective are the proposals likely to be in ensuring full traceability of GM material at all stages of the chain from producer to consumer?

    4.  Are the proposals likely to be enforceable in practice, particularly where no novel genetic material is contained in the food or feed?

    5.  A threshold level of 1 per cent or lower for the accidental presence of GM material in food and feed has been proposed, below which there would be an exemption. Is a threshold of this level, common to both food and feed, appropriate?

    6.  Is the role proposed for (a) the European Food Authority and its scientific committees and (b) Member States in the authorisation process for GM food and feed appropriate?

    7.  Are the proposals likely to be compatible with the requirements of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and with other international commitments, including OECD programmes?

    8.  Are the proposals compatible with obligations towards non-Member States seeking to export food and feed to the EU?

    9.  Should the present EU-wide moratorium on approving GM food and crop product applications be maintained until the issues concerning traceability and labelling of GMOs have been resolved?

    10.  What other aspects of the proposals require further consideration before the UK Government can sign up to them?

21 December 2001

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