Niveau juridique : Union européenne
Texte de la question
« Under CETA, food imported into the EU from Canada has to conform to EU food safety rules. Canada imports food from countries – the United States being one – which do not impose labelling and traceability requirements for GM food.
Genetically modified US salmon imported into Canada must not find its way into Europe as a result of CETA, and Canada has promised that this will not happen. However, GM salmon is not labelled as such, it looks the same as ordinary salmon, and no testing is carried out to rule out the possibility that it might enter the EU together with other salmon imported from Canada (trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2018/july/tradoc_157100.04.2018%20-%20COM%20report_FINAL.pdf).
1) How can Canada give the necessary guarantees?
2) Does the position regarding salmon also apply to maize, soya beans, and other GM foods imported into Canada without traceability records, and which then could be exported from Canada to the EU?
3) Which foodstuffs have to bear labels specifying the place of production (and which ones have to bear labels specifying the places of production of the ingredients), given that this information is necessary in order to ensure that, where foodstuffs are produced in genetically modified varieties (as well as in conventional forms), Europeans wishing to steer clear of GM food will be able to avoid the foodstuffs in question, if these come from countries that allow the production of GMOs? »
Texte de la réponse
The Commission is fully committed to the safety of European consumers and that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)-related EU legislation (1) is fully respected when importing commodities from non-EU countries, irrespective of whether the product originates in a country that has concluded a free trade agreement with the EU or not.
Official controls to verify that imported products are in line with EU requirements are carried out by the EU Member States (2). On top of this system, the Commission carries out audits on the official control systems of Member States and countries exporting to the EU to verify they are effective.
Only authorised GMOs can be legally exported to the EU, regardless whether this is Genetically Modified (GM) salmon or a GM crop. Canada has affirmed that only products complying with EU provisions are exported to the EU.
Export certification can be based on laboratory analysis, on traceability or on a combination of both. Product traceability is and remains an effective basis for certification. However, for export certification based solely on traceability, upstream traceability is a prerequisite. Products imported into Canada without traceability records would not qualify for onward export based only on traceability, independent of the nature of the product.
As for the labelling allowing an informed choice to EU consumer, all products on the EU market containing or derived from GMOs, are compulsorily labelled (3), regardless of the origin of the products.
(3) Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 on genetically modified food and feed (OJ L 268, 18.10.2003, p. 1)
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