The European Commission has sent a ‘reasoned opinion’, a final written warning, to the French and German national governments telling them to comply with the European Court of Justice’s ruling on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or face further legal action.

In 2004 the European Court found Germany and France, who remain sceptical about the introduction of GMOs, guilty of failing to fully implement the European legislation at a national level.

The directive on deliberate release of GMOs into the environment is the cornerstone of the EU’s legislative framework on GMOs and should have been implemented in October 2002. The law includes details on authorisation procedures, safety and environmental guidelines and a provision requiring the notification of the public when GMOs are used for the commercial and experimental purposes. 

In February 2005, the Commission said, Germany provided details of a new law regulating genetic engineering, but in order for this legislation to fully comply with EU requirements a second law dealing with procedural rules is necessary. As yet, no such law has been adopted. Meanwhile, France has only partially dealt with the directive and has failed to set a timetable for compliance.