[REPONSE] Parlement européen, Question E-004964/2020 avec demande de réponse écrite à la Commission de Pascal Arimont (PPE) du 10 septembre 2020, Moratoire mondial sur la dissémination d’organismes génétiquement modifiés dans la nature - Réponse publiée le 04/11/2020

Niveau juridique : Union européenne

Texte de la question :

« The use of so-called gene drives, a technology that allows the rapid spread of genetically-produced properties in a population, is highly controversial, as the impact of artificially-produced organisms on species and ecosystems around the world remains unpredictable.

In its resolution of 16 January 2020 on the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity [CBD], the European Parliament therefore called on the Commission and the Member States to ‘call for a global moratorium at the COP15 on releases of gene drive organisms into nature, including field trials, in order to prevent these new technologies from being released prematurely and to uphold the precautionary principle, which is enshrined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union as well as the CBD’ (1) .

1. What is the Commission’s position on the so-called gene drives and the moratorium called for by the European Parliament?

2. What steps has the Commission taken to implement the European Parliament’s request? What results have been achieved so far, including in dialogue with the Member States? »

Réponse de Mr Kyriakides pour le compte de la Commission européenne :

« 1. The Commission would like to refer to its reply to Written Question E-000791/2020, where it clarified that all genetically modified organisms (GMOs) released into the environment in the EU, need to be authorised according to Directive 2001/18/EC(1) and have to undergo a thorough assessment of all identified risks in accordance with the abovementioned Directive. This obligation is equally applicable to the release of GMOs engineered with gene drives.

2. T he Commission, together with the EU Member States, are preparing the forthcoming negotiations for the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) and the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP-MOP10). The EU will give due consideration to the different views on the potential applications of gene drive modified organisms and the related uncertainties and risks. The European Food Safety Authority will also provide technical and scientific expertise on risk assessment of gene drive modified organisms to support the EU in the work under the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, as mandated by the Commission in June 2018(2). »

(1) Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 March 2001 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms and repealing Council Directive 90/220/EEC (OJ L 106, 17.4.2001, p. 1)

(2) EFSA’s reference registerofquestions.efsa.europa.eu/roqFrontend/questionLoader?question=EFSA-Q-2018-00619

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