As part of the continuous process of reviewing the existing legislation and the improvement of its implementation, the Commission carried out an evaluation of the GMO legislation between 2009 and early 2011. Two different consultancies addressed GMO cultivation and GM food and feed aspects. The main goal of the exercise was to collect facts and opinions, particularly from stakeholders and competent authorities. The evaluations assessed the effectiveness and efficiency of adjustment of the system.
Key findings of the evaluations
The two reports register broad support, from stakeholders and competent authorities alike, for the main objectives of the legislation, such as the protection of health and the environment and the creation of an internal market, as these objectives remain consistent with the needs of society. The evaluations reports confirm that many actions the European Commission launched in recent months are on the right track.
Nevertheless, some adjustments are necessary to implement better the existing legislation, according to the reports. For instance, the authorisation system could be more efficient, GMO cultivation would benefit from more flexibility and the risk assessment process from further harmonisation. The work of the Commission since 2010 is in line with the evaluations and addresses many of its recommendations. There is a full package of ongoing actions in key areas such as:
- the need for more flexibility on GMO cultivation,
- the LLP solution,
- the compilation of technical information on the socio-economic implications of GMO cultivation,
- the review and transformation of the risk assessment guidelines into legal documents approved by Member States,
- the reinforcement of monitoring activities,
- the assessment of new plant breeding techniques,
- and the upgraded communication activities on GMO issues.
The evaluations provide a substantive amount of material for fine tuning ongoing adjustments to the system.
Evaluation on GMO cultivation (and the placing on the market on non food and feed GMOs)