EC Urges Bulgaria to Implement GMO Directive

Bulgaria in EU | March 14, 2011, Monday // 15:08|  views

Genetically modifying Escherichia coli bacteria, which may be used as biofuel. File photo

The European Commission has requested Bulgaria to implement correctly Directive 2009/41/EC that concerns activities around genetically modified micro-organisms.

The Commission considers that Bulgaria has failed to meet the Directive's requirements to take all adequate measures to limit possible risk to human health and the environment, which might arise

from such activities, according to a EC press release published Monday.

The request takes the form of a reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures. Bulgaria now has two months to inform the Commission of measures taken to implement the Directive correctlyand should it fail, Commission may decide to refer the country to the EU Court of Justice.

When micro-organisms are genetically modified, cultured, stored, transported, destroyed or used in any other way, humans and the environment may be exposed to risk. Directive 2009/41/EC requires Member States to ensure that all measures necessary are taken in order to avoid activities related to genetically modified microorganisms having negative consequences on human health and/or the environment.

The Commission considers that the manner in which Bulgaria has implemented the Directive fails to control all possible risk to human health and the environment. For example, the Directive requires any new information on - or modification to – activity with significant possible risk to be notified to the competent authorities, whereas Bulgaria's national legislation requires such notification only where new scientific and "other information" exists.

Bulgaria has also failed to legally provide for its obligation to send the Commission annual reports on certain activities. In response to the Commission opening infringement procedures on 15 April 2010, it amended its Genetically Modified Organisms Act.

However, the new provisions do not address all deficiencies in the national legislation identified by the Commission. As a result, the Commission has decided to send Bulgaria a reasoned

opinion formally requesting Bulgaria to comply with all aspects of the Directive

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Tags: EU Court of Justice, European Commission, directive 2009/41/EC, genetically modified micro-organisms


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