The European Commission has said it has held an orientation debate on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and related issues to take stock of the progress made over the last years in building a comprehensive EU regulatory framework on GMOs.

“The EU has put in place a clear, transparent and stringent system to regulate genetically modified food, feed and plants. Our legislation ensures that GMOs authorised in the EU are safe for human consumption and for the release into the environment. Clear labelling rules allow farmers to choose what to plant and consumers to choose what to buy. It is only logical that this safe system continues to be applied in practice and that the EU moves ahead with pending authorisations,” said Commission President Romano Prodi.

The Commission approved the proposal to authorise a GM sweet corn BT11 for food use, and the proposal will now be forwarded to the European Council for a decision.

It also agreed to submit a draft authorisation of GM maize NK603 to the Regulatory Committee, composed of the Member States, for a decision in February.

The Commission said it had agreed on the need to address at the EU level the individual safeguard measures on GMOs that have been adopted by various Member States.

More information on EU policies and legislation on GMOs can be found here.