Commission forbids legislation concerning separate placement of GMO products in supermarket shelves
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
The European Commission has decided that the notification by the government of Cyprus of draft legislation requiring genetically modified (GM) foods to be displayed separately from non-GM foods in supermarkets is non-admissible. The decision was taken on the grounds that the legal base upon which the Cypriot authorities submitted the notification is subject to certain conditions which do not apply in the case of this draft legislation. In September 2005, the Cypriot authorities notified the Commission of a draft law which would oblige supermarkets to place GM foods on specially designated shelves, separate from non-GM foods.
Cyprus submitted the notification to the Commission under Article 95(5) of the EC Treaty, which allows a Member State to introduce national legislation which diverges from an EU harmonisation measure, under the specific conditions provided by the Treaty.
The Commission decided that the Cyprus notification could not be considered under Article 95(5), as such conditions are not met. The Commission decision does not concern the substance of the Cypriot notification, namely whether it concerns a harmonised area of Community law, nor its compatibility with WTO rules or general Treaty provisions, reports Genet-Info.
These exemptions must be based on new scientific evidence relating to the protection of the environment or the working environment. However, the issue adds another building block in the wall erected by member states that want to prevent GMO distribution everywhere.