last update: 25/12/2008
EU gives green light to GMO visas
The European Union has adopted new legislation
on the cross-border movement of genetically modified organisms
to promote transparency in the GMO trade and buttress a new
The Council of Ministers has formally adopted
new EU regulations on the trans-national movement of GMOs
that will provide a legislative framework for the import and
export of such organisms.
The new EU legislation lays down strict provisions regarding
the detailed information that exporters must provide about
GMO export, as well as the explicit consent that importing
countries must provide. It also requires producers to inform
the international community about accidental releases of GMOs.
EU environment ministers gave their final seal of approval
on 13 June following the smooth passage of the bill through
a second reading at the European Parliament earlier in the
A question of choice
Europe is at the forefront of international efforts to forge
a regime for the safe manipulation of biotechnology. Following
the passage of the new regulations, the EU as a whole is in
full compliance with the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
“The Protocol will ensure that countries exporting or
importing GMOs can rely on a sound regulatory framework, so
that they can make informed choices,” Environment Commissioner
Margot Wallström was quoted as saying.
Signed by more than 100 countries, the protocol was passed
as a supplement to the 2000 UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
It obliges countries exporting GMOs to provide detailed descriptions
of the organisms to recipient countries in advance of any
shipment to help them decide whether or not to accept it.
An importing country may reject GMO imports – even without
scientific proof – if it fears they put its traditional
crops at risk, undermine local cultures or reduce the value
of biodiversity to indigenous communities.
As European environment ministers gave the new EU legislation
their blessing, the tiny Pacific country of Palau became the
fiftieth country to ratify Cartagena. The Protocol will officially
come into force in September.
Seven Member States have so far ratified Cartagena. The new
EU regulations will put pressure on the remaining eight to
bring their national laws into line.
Source: EU and news sources
on the Cartagena Protocol
Last update: 25 December 2008 | Top