Proposed revisions to EU Directive 90/220 on deliberate releases of GMOs into the environment.
Points of contention: the lack of provision for environmental liability, export from the EU to non-EU countries is less strict than import, the continued use of antibiotic resistance marker genes.
The Radar report is available to subscribers:
Speech by David Byrne, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, 10 February 2001
Mr. Byrne discussed the EU approach to engendering public acceptance of GM technology. Proceeding on the assumption that “trust can only come through transparency”, the EU approach would be to introduce “strong” regulation aimed at “giving consumers confidence” and to “promote choice”.
Potential new legislation mentioned included traceability and labeling for “live” GMOs and for food (animal and human) derived from GMOs. No mention was made of the Environmental Liability White Paper.
However, the EU is considering abolishing the DNA/protein detectability criterion for labeling, citing increased consumer choice. Without defined standards for detectability, is hard to see how the public is likely to trust such a scheme.
The Advisory Committee on Releases into the Environment (ACRE)
The Governmental advisory body on GM releases to the environment is expected to issue a number of papers in the near future: