On May 6, the French ministry submitted a "Draft Decree" to the European Commission. It states that France considers products of “in vitro mutagenesis” as regulated GMOs. Specifically, it is proposing to ban a number of herbicide tolerant rapeseed varieties in France.
This proposal has triggered a so-called TRIS (Technical Regulations Information System) procedure because the Commission expects a possible breach on the internal market of the EU. This procedure enables both Member States and involved companies and organizations to express their vision. These are then used in the dialogue between the European Commission and the European Council.
In response, Plantum indicates that the national labelling as GMO of varieties is an infringement on the free movement of seeds and end products, and also that the lack of legal certainty that arises from an unclear definition of “in vitro random mutagenesis” and uncertainties about its application to other crops also leads to market distortions. In addition, no reason has been given why it is precisely this (group of) mutagenesis techniques that is tackled. Literature research has shown that mutation protocols for cell suspensions were already published in 1979 by VU Amsterdam University. Plantum warns that if each Member State is going to use different interpretations for European legislation at national level, there will be no free internal market left.
Plantum has requested the European Commission via a critical letter to persuade France to withdraw the proposal.
Read Plantum's view here
Read the contributions of other stakeholders here.