[REPONSE] Question écrite E-000257/2020 à la Commission de Ignazio Corrao, Dino Giarrusso, Piernicola Pedicini, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Chiara Gemma, Daniela Rondinelli – Jugement sur les variétés obtenues par mutagénèse, nouveaux OGM et le cas des amandiers

Niveau juridique : Union européenne

Texte de la question :

« Many of the agricultural varieties marketed in Italy, such as the ‘supernova’ almond tree, are produced through new mutagenesis techniques, which use unnatural methods to alter the genetic material of an organism.

In its judgment in Case C-528/16, the Court of Justice ruled that these organisms are equivalent to GMOs, potentially dangerous, and must be made subject to the obligations of the GMO Directive, and to Directive 2002/53/EC, meaning they must be assessed on the risk they pose to human health and the environment before they may be marketed, and it must be possible to trace and monitor them.

The draft questionnaire which the Commission has sent to Member States seeks to restrict genome techniques that are equivalent to GMO solely to techniques that alter ‘the genetic material of an organism’ rather than to an entire ‘genetically modified organism’, which would make implementation of the Court of Justice’s decision impossible.

In 2018 the Member States asked the Commission to define the genetic modification techniques concerned, but nothing has been done to date to identify the new GMOs.

How does it plan to meet its own obligations in regard to enforcing the judgment of the Court of Justice?

How will it ensure the judgment is enforced without, however, restricting identification of new GMOs?

What has been the basis until now for marketing new GMOs without proper checks? »

Réponse donnée par Ms Kyriakides au nom de la Commission le 6 mars 2020

« 1. The Commission has discussed the implementation of the Court ruling on Case C‐528/16 on mutagenesis with the Member States experts in several Standing Committee meetings, with the goal to ensure that the legislation on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is implemented as interpreted by the Court.

Furthermore, based on Article 241 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the Council has requested the Commission (1) to submit a study, by 30 April 2021, regarding the status of novel genomic techniques (NGTs) under Union law in light of the Court of Justice’s judgment in Case C-528/16.

In the study, the Commission intends to provide a state-of-play on the implementation and enforcement of the GMO legislation, as regards NGTs, based inter alia on contributions from targeted consultations of Member States and stakeholders.

2. The abovementioned study will also take into account past and ongoing work of the European Union Reference Laboratory and the European Network of GMO Laboratories, on the detection of products obtained by certain NGTs.

3. Member States are responsible for the enforcement of the GMO legislation. Economic operators both within and outside the EU territory have the burden of proof that products placed on the EU market, whether imported or produced in the EU, fulfil the requirements of the legislation.

This includes verification that unauthorised GMOs are not placed on the market and that traceability and labelling rules for authorised GMOs (as set by the EU legislation) are fulfilled.

(1) OJ L 293, 14.11.2019, p. 103‐104 »

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