European Union legal framework on GMO’s

The European Union has established a legal framework to ensure that the development of modern biotechnology, and more specifically of GMOs, takes place in safe conditions.

The legal framework aims to:

  • Protect human and animal health and the environment by introducing a safety assessment of the highest possible standards at EU level before any GMO is placed on the market.
  • Put in place harmonised procedures for risk assessment and authorisation of GMOs that are efficient, time-limited and transparent.
  • Ensure clear labelling of GMOs placed on the market in order to enable consumers as well as professionals (e.g. farmers, and food feed chain operators) to make an informed choice.
  • Ensure the traceability of GMOs placed on the market

The building blocks of the GMO legislation are:

  • Directive 2001/18/EC on the deliberate release of GMOs into the environment
  • Regulation (EC) 1829/2003 on genetically modified food and feed
  • Directive (EU) 2015/412 amending Directive 2001/18/EC as regards the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs in their territory
  • Regulation (EC) 1830/2003 concerning the traceabilityand labelling of genetically modified organisms and the traceability of food and feed products produced from genetically modified organisms
  • Directive 2009/41/EC on contained use of genetically modified micro-organisms. Regulation (EC) 1946/2003 on transboundary movements of GMOs

These main pieces of legislation are supplemented by a number of implementing rules or by recommendations and guidelines on more specific aspects.


Reports on the implementation of the GMO legislation can be found here.


One response to “European Union legal framework on GMO’s”

  1. […] Source: European Union legal framework on GMO’s – mark jacobs lives! […]

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