General food law: the unsuccessful attempt of the European Commission to bring more transparency

In response to the European Citizen Initiative to ban glyphosate, the European Commission decided to increase the transparency of authorisation processes related to food. The proposal of the European Commission, released in April 2018, affects many areas like GMOs, additives and plant protection products.

IFOAM EU welcomes the willingness of the European Commission to improve the transparency of the EU risk assessment in the food chain but has some concerns about the proposal as some provisions could actually worsen the situation. In particular, the current proposal would extend the type of information that could be considered as confidential, e.g., regarding GMOs, ‘DNA sequence information’ and ‘breeding patterns and strategies’ may now be considered as potentially confidential. However, such information is crucial to avoid contamination and to provide the breeding sector with enough information, for example to identify varieties covered by patents.

In the coming months, IFOAM EU will work on the adoption of this text to make sure that transparency related to food law improves. The European Commission expects the text to be adopted before the end of the current legislature.

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