REPONSE Question E-006076-17 de Anja Hazekamp (GUE/NGL) - réglementation OGM et statut de certains nouvelles techniques de modification

Niveau juridique : Union européenne

  • Texte de la question, 28-09-2017 :

«  European GM legislation stipulates that, in working with GMOs, risk analysis, detectability and recognisable labels are necessary elements(1) and that the implementation of the directive should take account of the precautionary principle(2). The purpose of this legislation is to protect public health, the environment, animal health and animal welfare.

A number of Member States intend to expand the derogations for new genetic engineering techniques, such as CRISPR/Cas9, which is contrary to the precautionary principle. A case is therefore pending before the European Court of Justice which has been brought by the French State concerning the interpretation of European legislation on genetic modification.

1. Does the Commission agree that CRISPR/Cas9 is a genetically modified tool, which is covered by EC law on genetic modification?

2. Can the Commission guarantee that, pending the ruling of the European Court of Justice, no new genetic engineering techniques will be authorised outside the terms of the directive, because the granting of authorisation for new genetic engineering techniques would mean that no further risk analysis and monitoring would be performed?

3. Does the Commission agree that, if exceptions to the existing EU legislation on genetic modification are permitted, it will become impossible for farmers, growers and consumers to tell whether genetic engineering has been used?

(1) Regulation 1829/2003, Regulation 1830/2003, Directive 2001/18.

(2) Directive 2001/18, Recital 8 »

Réponse le 23/11/2017 :

Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission

« 1. The Court of Justice of the European Union will render a ruling on whether the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) legislation1 applies to organisms produced by targeted mutagenesis techniques and on whether Member States can regulate organisms which fall under the exemptions set out in that legislation. CRISPR/Cas9 is one of the technologies in the scope of the Court ruling. The conclusions of the Advocate General should be published on 20 December 2017, and the ruling could be expected in the first half of 2018. As it is the sole prerogative of the Court of Justice to give binding interpretation of the EU legislation, the Commission is not in the position to respond to the questions of the Honourable Member.

2. The Commission does not have the power to decide whether a specific technique should be exempted from the GMO legislation.

3. The Union legislator decided as early as in 1990 not to apply the GMO legislation to organisms obtained by certain techniques. The organisms which are covered by these exemptions are not subject to the specific traceability and labelling rules set out in the GMO legislation. »