Media briefing – GMO debate

Publication - 24 November, 2008
A media briefing on the GMO debate linked to the Ad hoc working group on the 24th of November and the Environment Council on the 4th of December 2008.This briefing covers why the debate is important, the likely outcomes of the meetings and Greenpeace's demands.

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Executive summary: On 4 December 2008, EU environment ministers have to agree on measures to reform the EU’s authorisation system for genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The last preparatory meeting before the Council, where national experts have to finalise their recommendations is 24 November, 2008.

Reform of the GMO authorisation process has been at the heart of the French Presidency of the EU. Representatives from 27 member states have already met six times in the ‘ad hoc working group on GMOs’ to debate and prepare the final Council conclusions. Environment ministers will meet on 4 December to discuss and agreeon these conclusions, which need to be accepted unanimously to go through.

Environment Ministers already held a GMO orientation debate during the OctoberCouncil meeting in Luxembourg.

Discussions over the last few months have focused on:

  1. boosting the environmental assessment;
  2. taking into account socio-economic criteria;
  3. improving the way in which scientific evaluation works;
  4. establishing labelling threshold for seed contamination;
  5. taking into account certain sensitive and/or protected areas.

Num. pages: 3