Preliminary agreement on directive proposal concerning farming of GM crops

Press release 2014-12-11 at 9:21

Notification by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of the Environment:

The EU Member States have approved the preliminary agreement that the European Parliament and the Commission came to last week on a directive proposal concerning the farming of GM crops. The long-prepared proposal deals with the right of Member States to prohibit the farming of genetically modified crops.

The proposal was issued already in 2010 by the Commission as a response to repeated requests by Member States to allow countries to independently decide on farming of GM crops within their borders. This would ensure that in addition to scientific risk assessments the special conditions and current political will of each Member State could be taken into account. The agreement on the proposal must still be approved by the EU Parliament plenary session.

The new directive would obligate those Member States in which GM crops are farmed to monitor procedures, which prevent the spread of GM crops to neighbouring countries where their farming is prohibited. The Commission would be expected to oversee that the guidelines pertaining to the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) environmental risk assessment concerning GM crops would be transposed into genetic engineering legislation. The EFSA would be given new obligations including collection and analysis of test results on environmental and health risks, as well as the task of making these accessible to the public, as well as to notifying authorities responsible for risk management of any observed risks.

The EU has approved the farming of one type of genetically modified maize. This insect-resistant maize, MON810 is not farmed in Finland. There are presently no exploitation rights applications for GM crops being processed in the product approval process that would be suitable for Finland's conditions or of interest to Finland.

Further information

Ministerial Adviser Kirsi Törmäkangas, firstname.lastname@stm.fi,
tel. +358 2951 63353

Ministerial Adviser Pirkko Kivelä, firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi,
tel. +358 50 362 2041

Commercial Counsellor Leena Mannonen, firstname.lastname@mmm.fi
tel. +358 50 369 7616