New technologies and the general GM framework

New global challenges such as climate change, increasing demand for agricultural products and rising energy costs are putting pressure on all players of the agricultural supply chains. This will require increased productivity at farm level, growing focus on innovation and the use of new technologies to enhance or maintain competitiveness of the European operators. Reviewing certain EU policies will be imperative, notably in the field of biotechnology and more precisely GMOs is one of them.

In the course of 2009, the Commission has launched a consultation on the revision of the Regulation (EC) 1829/2003 setting the legal framework regulating genetically modified (GM) food and feed in the EU. It provides criteria for placing new GM varieties on the market ensuring human health and environmental protection and is supplemented by Regulation (EC) 1830/2003, which ensures traceability and labelling of GMOs placed on the market. FEDIOL has put particular emphasis on the negative impact the GM free labelling might have on the consumer perception of GMOs, on the need of bridging the disconnection in the authorization process between EU and trading partners and on the need for a realistic threshold for non-authorised GM events.

In July 2010, the Commission has presented a proposal with regard to GM cultivation intended to allow Member States to decide on the GM cultivation on their territories, raising however, a number of serious concerns, notably as to its impact on the internal market.