November 30, 2004, as reported
by just-food.com: Bans on genetically modified materials
set up by individual European countries will remain in place, for
The European Commission Regulatory Committee was considering lifting
the bans currently in place in five EU member states but failed
to garner enough votes to overturn the measures. The decision to
end national bans will now pass onto the Council of Ministers, according
to EC reports.
The draft decisions concern the GM maize varieties T25 and MON810
banned in Austria, GM maize Bt176 banned in Austria, Germany and
Luxembourg, the oilseed rape varieties MS1xRF1 banned in France
and Topas 19/2 banned in France and Greece.
The Commission said the Regulatory Committee, which represents
the member states, did not reach the qualified majority necessary
to support the Commission’s proposal to ask the five member
states to lift their national bans.
The Commission said it will now formally transmit the proposals
to the Council of Ministers for a decision. The Council can either
adopt or reject the proposals with a qualified majority. If no decision
is taken after three months, the file returns to the Commission
which can then adopt it. If the proposal is approved, the member
states in question would have to repeal their national bans at the
latest 20 days after they are formally notified of respective decisions.