Current Legal Situation in the EU Regarding
Planting & Importation of GE Crops


April 1999
Commercial growing of a GE crop has so far only happened in Spain in 1998,
where about 20.000 ha of Novartisí Bt-maize were grown.
Experimental field trials are much harder to monitor, because they are
regulated purely on a national level. We donít have any up-to-date
overview, but do know that no field trials have ever taken place in Austria.

In France a partial moratorium is already in place on the growing of
transgenic crops with wild relatives in France, such as beet and rape-seed.

In addition the French Conseil d'Etat, Franceís highest administrative
court, suspended authorisation to grow Novartisí GE maize in France.
Following this ruling the French government decides that all of Novartisí
maize harvest 1998 must be segregated and stored separately until the
Conseilís final verdict, not expected until mid 1999 and after an opinion
expressed by the ECJ.

In two further Member States (UK and Denmark) partial de-facto moratoria
have been imposed on commercial growing of GMOs.

In four Member States (Austria, France, Greece and Luxembourg) certain
GMO-products have been banned for import and selling after receiving
EU-approval (maize and rape-seed).

Greece has declared a total freeze of any growing (experimental and
commercial) of GMO crops.

In addition, Member States authorities did not find the necessary
majorities to approve any new GMO-product since April 1998. Four
applications are currently dead-locked: a transgenic maize (a Monsanto
product, but applied for by Pioneer), Zenecaís tomato and two Monsanto
Bt-cotton applications.

T.Schweiger, Greenpeace International

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