[REPONSE] Question écrite à la Commission E-001150/2020 d’Alexis Georgoulis et Petros Kokkalis ; 26 février 2020, Large participation et objectivité dans la consultation publique de la DG SANTE dans le cadre de l’étude de la Commission sur les nouvelles techniques génomiques

Niveau juridique : Union européenne

Texte de la question :

« Six industry associations invited to DG SANTE’s consultation on new genomic techniques represent the interests of agrochemical-biotech industries (1) . A Corporate Europe Observatory report showed that the biotech industry pressured for the deregulation of new GM techniques, which means allowing GM products to enter the food chain and the environment without meeting the EU’s regulatory requirements (2) .

1. How will the Commission ensure that this will not produce biased results that could thwart its efforts to promote organic agriculture as part of the Farm to Fork Strategy?

2. The stakeholders invited to the consultation are only Brussels-based organisations, and NGOs account for less than 12 %. A recent report by the Court of Auditors recommends that the Commission should promote greater participation (3) . Has the Commission taken any steps to improve its consultations in accordance with the report’s recommendations?

(1) Euractiv, ‘New GMOs’: Kyriakides gets off on wrong foot with biased consultation (5/2/2020) www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/opinion/new-gmos-kyriakides-gets-off-on-wrong-foot-with-biased-consultation/

(2) Corporate Europe Observatory, ‘Biotech lobby’s push for new GMOs to escape regulation’ (2/2/2016), corporateeurope.org/en/food-and-agriculture/2016/02/biotech-lobby-push-new-gmos-escape-regulation

(3) European Court of Auditors, ‘‘Have your say!: Commission’s public consultations engage citizens, but fall short  of outreach activities” (Special Report NO 14, 2019) www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2014_2019/plmrep/COMMITTEES/PETI/DV/2020/01-20/11_ECA_SR_Public_participation_EN.pdf »

Réponse donnée par Ms Kyriakides au nom de la Commission européenne le 23 avril 2020

« 1. The Council of the European Union requested the Commission to submit, by 30 April 2021, ‘a study in light of the Court of Justice’s judgment in Case C-528/16 regarding the status of novel genomic techniques under Union law’(Council Decision (EU) 2019/1904, OJ L 293, 14.11.2019, p. 103‐104). In this context, the Commission is carrying out targeted consultations with Member States and EU-level stakeholders. The participating stakeholders are active not only in the agri-food chain, but also in a variety of fields, e.g. pharmaceutical, cosmetic, academia/research, environmental protection, and, notably, include organic business operators and breeders. This ensures that the consultation is not biased and that the organic sector views are taken into account.

2. Overall, the Commission launches the majority of its open public consultations in all official EU languages in order to improve the outreach to stakeholders and to follow up to the cited Court of Auditors recommendations. However, the cited Court of Auditors’ report refers to public consultations, while the ongoing process on new genomic techniques is a targeted consultation. It addresses Member States’ competent authorities, which are expected to consult further within each Member State, and EU-level stakeholder organisations that could be directly or indirectly affected and/or have potential interest in new genomic techniques; the above procedure guarantees a broad Union overview, while allowing national-level views. »

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