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European Commission - Press release
Commission requests Bulgaria to correctly implement rules around genetically modified micro-organisms
BRUSSELS, 26 April 2012 – Today the European Commission has asked Bulgaria to ensure the correct implementation of Directive 2009/41/EC on activities around genetically modified micro-organisms such as when they are cultured, stored, transported, destroyed or used in any other way. Directive 2009/41/EC requires Member States to ensure that all measures necessary are taken in order to avoid activities around genetically modified micro-organisms having negative consequences on human health and/or the environment.
The Commission considers that the manner in which Bulgaria has implemented the Directive is not correct. The Directive provides that all activity around genetically modified micro-organisms is classified according to its potential negative consequences. 'No risk' and 'negligible risk' activities are regulated under the Directive. Nevertheless, only 'negligible risk' activity is regulated under Bulgarian legislation.
In response to the Commission opening an infringement procedure on 20 May 2011, Bulgaria explained that a reference to the 'no risk' activity in the Bulgarian legislation is not necessary, given a general presumption that all activity around genetically modified micro-organisms contains a potential risk, albeit minimal.
The Commission considers that it is not clear from the Bulgarian legislation that 'no risk' activity is covered by the Directive. As a result, the Commission has decided to send Bulgaria a reasoned opinion formally requesting Bulgaria to comply with all aspects of the Directive.
The Commission's request to Bulgaria takes the form of a "Reasoned Opinion" under EU infringement proceedings. Bulgaria has now two months to inform the Commission of measures it will take to implement the Directive correctly, failing which the Commission may decide to refer Bulgaria to the European Court of Justice.
Directive 2009/41/EC classifies risk in the following manner: no or negligible risk, low risk, moderate risk and high risk. Detailed criteria for assessing risk, as well as protective measures for each of the four levels of risk are laid down.
For more information on genetically modified food and feed:
Frédéric Vincent (+32 2 298 71 66)
Aikaterini Apostola (+32 2 298 76 24)