Twelve out of the 15 European Union Member States could soon face court action should they continue to ignore EU legislation on genetically modified crops.
The Commission yesterday formally warned France, Luxembourg, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Finland that national laws on testing and licensing genetically modified organisms should have been enacted by 17 October 2002. Failure to implement the new rules within the next two months could prompt the EU executive to file a lawsuit against all rebelling parties at the European Court of Justice.
"I urge Member States to quickly bring their national legislation into line with the new agreed EU framework for regulating the release of GMOs into the environment," said Margot Wallström, Environment Commissioner. The new legislation, passed in a bid to appease the cynical European consumer who is extremely wary of GM foods, sets the rules which companies need to follow if they want to get authorisation to introduce GM organisms (GMOs) such as crops or food ingredients onto the EU market, with strict rules on testing for environmental and health risks.