Developments on Commission proposals on Genetically Modified Food and
Feed and on the Traceability and Labelling of GMOs

Last year the Agency held an open meeting with stakeholders to consider the issues raised by the Commissions two GM proposals. We are planning to hold a follow up meeting of stakeholders on 23 September to update you regarding developments since then on the food and feed aspects of the proposals.

The meeting will be held between 11.00 and 13.00 hours at the Agency Headquarters at the following address:
Aviation House
125 Kingsway

It is not intended to hold separate meetings in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but interested parties in each of these countries are being invited to the meeting in London.

The main aim of the meeting will be to provide an update on recent developments and to seek views on the implications of possible changes to the proposals following the vote in the European Parliament (EP). The main amendments agreed by the EP would mean that:

the threshold for the accidental presence of GM material in non-GM foods below which labelling is not required would only apply to varieties that have been given approval in Europe (i.e. there should not be any threshold for varieties awaiting approval in Europe that had a favourable safety assessment by the Commission's scientific committees);

the proposed threshold below which labelling is not required is reduced from the current 1% to 0.5%; However the EP rejected amendments that would have required the traceability and labelling of products from animals fed GM feed and products produced using GM processing aids and also rejected the introduction of rules on 'GM-free' labelling.

In negotiations since the EP vote, the Commission has also indicated that products such as alcohol produced by fermentation from GM maize and foods cooked in oil derived from GM maize or soya would have to be labelled as GM. In addition, the Commission has confirmed that the labelling rules would apply to foods sold in catering establishments as well as those sold retail, and that the current flexibilities permitted in relation to the way in which information is provided to customers in catering establishments in the UK would not apply.

We would also like to consider how to make additional information on the use of GM technology in the food industry available to consumers. Furthermore, following the recent House of Lords report on the Commissions proposals, we will be considering what is the most meaningful term to describe foods that are not GM.

We would also like to obtain more detailed information on the likely cost implications of the proposals, including the impact of the amendments agreed by the EP, so that we can update the Partial Regulatory Impact Assessment document produced earlier.

If you would like to attend the meeting on 23 September, which will be by advance ticket only, to a maximum of 100 people with a limit of 2 delegates per organisation, please contact Ade Adeoye at the above address,

by telephoning 0207 276 8568 or by email: