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Safeguard Measures

In the event that an authorised GM food is deemed to constitute a serious risk to the health of humans, animals or the environment, safeguard measures under Article 34 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 can be invoked and marketing suspended in accordance with Articles 53 and 54 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002. Safeguard measures can also be applied to situations where there is, or is likely to be a threat of food containing, consisting of or derived from unauthorised GMOs originating within the EU or imported from third countries.

Previous safeguard measures included those set out in Commission Decision 2005/317/EC (no longer in force) (repealed by Commission Decision 2007/157/EC) on unauthorised GM maize (Bt 10) products imported from the USA and Commission Decision 2006/601/EC (no longer in force) (repealed by Commission Decision 2010/315/EU) relating to unauthorised GM rice (LL RICE 601) from the USA. Such safeguard measures were repealed as the threat of unauthorised marketing diminished.

EU safeguard measure for Rice products originating from China

Following a series of alerts and the lack of sufficient guarantees from the Chinese competent authorities concerning the detection of unauthorised GM rice Bt 63 in products originating in or consigned from China, Commission Decision 2008/289/EC (no longer in force) was adopted. That Decision required that prior to placing on the market, operators should submit an analytical report to the relevant Member State competent authorities demonstrating that the consignment of rice products was not contaminated with GM rice Bt 63. Additionally, that Decision provided for Member States to take appropriate measures, including random sampling and analysis carried out using a specific method described therein, concerning products presented for importation or already on the market.

Commission Implementing Decision 2011/884/EU repealed Commission Decision 2008/289/EC and this was subsequently amended by Commission Implementing Decision 2013/287/EU by extending the relevant list of products that may contain rice and specifying appropriate sampling and analysis methodologies. It also provides that Member States can carry out random physical checks on food and feed originating in, or consigned from China that may consist, contain or be produced from rice.