Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 January 2017
Since first embarking on the road of risk management options for the regulation of recombinant DNA (rDNA) activities and use in 1978, the European Union (EU) has largely failed to create a regulatory and policy environment regarding genetically modified (GM) crops and their cultivation that is (a) efficient, (b) predicable, (c) accountable, (d) durable or (e) interjurisdictionally aligned.
* The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the authors. The authors have written this article in their personal capacity. The views expressed do not represent the views of their colleagues, their current or past employers, the National University of Ireland Galway, the Government of Canada or any other organization or body. The authors have no personal financial interests in any commercial organization that might financially benefit from the publication of this article.
1 Commission Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council amending Directive 2001/18/EC as regards the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs in their territory COM (2010) 375.
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16 Minutes from the 40th meeting of the Council of the EMBO, 1st October 1988: “… any legislation should focus not on the technique but on the safety or otherwise of the products generated with it. … Over the last 15 years, experience has shown that recombinant DNA methods, far from being inherently dangerous, are an important tool both for understanding properties of life and for developing applications valuable to humankind and the environment. EMBO strongly believes that there is no scientific justification for additional specific legislation regulating recombinant research per se. Any rules or legislation should only apply to the safety of products according to their properties, rather than according to the methods used to generate them”.
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38 Ricroch, Agnès, Bergé, Jean and Kuntz, Marcel, “Is the Suspension of MON810 Maize Cultivation by Some European Countries Scientifically Justified?”, Information Systems in Biotechnology (2010), pp. 8 et sqq., at p. 9.Google Scholar
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42 Ricroch, Bergé and Kuntz, “Suspension of MON810”, supra note 37.
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44 Yves Thréard, “Les OGM, une affaire très politique”, Le Figaro, 12 February 2009, at p. 14, also available on the Internet at <http://www.lefigaro.fr/debats/2009/02/12/01005-20090212ARTFIG00001-les-ogm-une-affaire-tres-politique-.php> (last accessed on 2 October 2010).
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46 Charles Jaigu, “Fillon: la majorité sera jugée «au bout de cinq ans»”, Le Figaro, 14 January 2008: “Concernant les OGM, Fillon a défendu sa décision de déclencher la procédure de suspension du maïs génétiquement modifié MON810 en estimant qu’il s’agissait d’un «compromis scellé dans le ‘Grenelle de l’environnement’»”.
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48 As exemplified by Marion Guillou, President of France's National Institute for Agronomical Research (INRA) who stated INRA's work on new varieties now involves only conventional crops, for which research is less efficient, longer and more expensive. Sybille de La Hamaide, “French Researcher halts Development of GMO Crops”, Reuters, October 31, 2010, available on the Internet at <http://www.forexyard.com/en/news/French-researcher-halts-development-of-GMO-crops-2010-10-29T080856Z-INTERVIEW>.
49 EU Commission Communication on the Precautionary Principle. COM (2000) 1, at p. 5
50 “[M]easures taken under the precautionary principle should be designed to achieve an equivalent level of protection without invoking the geographical origin or the nature of the production process to apply different treatments in an arbitrary manner”, ibid
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