B4 - GMOs and protected areas

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					                                       B4 - GMOs and protected areas




                                                                                                                                 and Laurent Lüttge
                                                             Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany
                                                                                                                                  http://www.bmu.de
                                                     background documents:
                                                     Concepts of GMO-free environmentally sensitive areas
                               by Josef Hoppichler                                                                                  Josef Hoppichler
          Federal Institute for Less-Favoured and                  http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/Downloads/WS_B4_hoppichler_mountains.pdf
                      Mountainous Areas, Austria     Commission desicion of 2 September 2003 relating to national provisions on
http://www.bergbauern.net/2005/content/view/118      banning the use of genetically modified organisms in the region of Upper Austria
                                                     notified by the Republic of Austria
                                                                                                                               http://www.gmo-free-
                                                                          regions.org/Downloads/WS_B4_hoppichler_upperaustria_commission.pdf
                                                     Rechtliche Aspekte beim Schutz ökologisch sensibler Gebiete
                                                                                                                                      only in German
                                                                                                    http://www.bfn.de/09/gvo_wittingbfn_011204.pdf
                                                     Gentechnikfreie Regionen –Sinn, Optionenund Perspektiven
                                                                                                                                      only in German
                                                                                                              http://www.bfn.de/09/hoppichlerbb.pdf
                                                     Communication from the Commission on the precautionary principle
                                                                                                                       European Commission, 2000
                                                      http://europa.eu.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!CELEXnumdoc&numdo
                                                                                                                           c=52000DC0001&lg=EN
                          Christel Schmelzeisen
                                                     Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats
        Federal Agency for Nature Conservation,
                                                     and of wild fauna and flora
                                        Germany
                                                                       http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/consleg/pdf/1992/en_1992L0043_do_001.pdf
                  (with green pullover, in centre)
                                                     Council Directive 97/11/EC of 3 March 1997 amending DIRECTIVE 85/337/EEC of 27
              http://www.bfn.de/en/01/index.htm
                                                     June 1985 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on
                                                     the environment
                                                                   http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/eia/full-legal-text/9711_consolidated.pdf
                                                     Act on the regulation of precautionary measures for genetic engineering (Carinthian
                                                     Genetic Engineering Precautionary Measures Act – Austrian designation: K-GtVG)
                                                     and amending the Carinthian Agriculture Act (Revised draft)
                                                      http://www.foeeurope.org/GMOs/gmofree/PDFs/Biotech_Precautionary_Bill_Carinthian.pdf
                                                     Notification according to Article 95(5) of the EC Treaty Request for authorisation to
                                                     introduce national provisions incompatible with a Community Harmonisation
                                                     Measure
                                                                     The European Commission, Official Journal of the European Union, May 2003
                                                             http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/pri/en/oj/dat/2003/c_126/c_12620030528en00040004.pdf
                                                     Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms on a question
                                                     from the Commission related to the Austrian notification of national legislation
                                                     governing GMOs under Article 95(5) of the Treaty1
                                                                Scientific Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms, The EFSA Journal, July 2003
                                                                      http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/gmo/gmo_opinions/178/opinion_gmo_011.pdf
                                                     Maize & Biodiversity. the Effects of Tansgenic Maize in Mexico
                                                                                       North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation
                                                             http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/pri/en/oj/dat/2003/c_126/c_12620030528en00040004.pdf




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GMO-free areas: Legal, political and scientific issues in relation to
nature protection
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Problem - German Model - GMOs and Nature Conservation
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B4 - The Group Discussion
Moderation: Michael O'Callahan
Minutes: Akiko Fried

What is the relevant legal framework?

EU legislation
Dir. 2001/18/EC
The precautionary principle has been taken into account in the drafting of this Directive and must be
taken into account when implementing it.
Article 13 – The notification shall contain: environmental risk assessment
Article 19 – The written consent shall explicitly specify: conditions for the protection of particular
ecosystems/environments and/or geographical areas.

Other Community legislation:
- Habitats Directive (COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992) on the conservation of
   natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora
- Wild birds Directive (COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979) on the conservation of
   wild birds
- DIRECTIVE 92/43/EEC             "... in order to ensure the restoration or maintenance of natural
   habitats and species of Community interest at a favourable conservation status, it is necessary ...
   to create a coherent European ecological network ..."
- NATURA 2000 of special areas of conservation, including special protection areas pursuant to
   Council Directive 79/409/EEC (wild birds conservation)National/Regional legislation
A) Federal Nature Conservation Act (Germany):New Article 34a: Genetically Modified Organisms
1. To the deliberate release of GMOs and2. to the use of products consisting of GMOs or containing
GMOs, which were legally placed on the market, in agriculture, forestry or fishery, and any other
handling of GMOs, especially including also the non-economic use of such products, if its effects will
be comparable to the actions mentioned above, within a Site of Community Importance or in a
European Bird Sanctuary,if they are likely, either individually or in combination with other projects or
plans, to have a significant effect on a Site of Community Importance or on a European Bird
Sanctuary, Art. 34 (1) and (2) shall apply mutatis mutandis.
B) Carinthian Act 2004 (Austria): Genetic Engineering Precaution Act 2004)
Objectives are:
- regulation of co-existence (Art. 26a of Dir. 2001/18/EC)
- protection against GMO-contamination of organic farming (Reg. 2092/91)
- protection of natural flora and fauna and of natural ecosystems

Second draft – statement of the Commission:
- restriction of the use of GMO within protected areas has to be justified in accordance with the
  Natura2000 Directives
- measures have to be proportionate
- arguments to protect the environment should be raised in the approval process
- GMO have to be notified 3 months before use
- Use in protected areas only, if no effects on natural flora, fauna and ecosystems

(Similar acts drafted also in 6 regions)

There is a need for GMO –free areas
Reasons
Genetic engineering and GMO still have inherent risks: (e.g. we do not know what will happen when
large quantities of new naked DNA like promoters of viruses or antibiotic resistance genes are
released from transgenic plants…ACNFP 1999, threats to non-target-organisms and to biodiversity in
general …FSE in GB)

There is a need for GMO-free areas
• especially for large GMO-free areas – e.g. whole bio-geographic regions like the Alpine and
  mountain areas to counterbalance the risks.
• at least: NO GMO-RELEASES IN AREAS OF NATURE PROTECTION

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•   to protect developing areas for organic farming – to avoid GMO contamination of organic seeds; to
    support efforts to protect and preserve biodiversity within organic agricultural systems and to create
    alternative technological paths
•   to create closed areas for GMO-free seed breeding and propagating
•   to guarantee a GMO-free on-farm conservation of plant genetic resources
•   for the Democtratic Principle - and in Natura2000 sites appropriate GMO-free management plans
    should be developed.
•   for future security: (if the Genetic Revolution causes unforseeable negative developments, we need
    alternatives for the future)
•   especially in centers of origin and genetic diversity there is a special need for a moratorium

Further possibilities:
1) strict conditions of use and the environments and/or geographical areas stipulated in the consent,
   Article 19 Dir. 2001/18/EC2) Instruments to ensure that the consents specific conditions are strictly
   adhered (e.g. in the regulation of good acricultural practice)
3) application of non gmo-specific-provisions of nature conservation law
4) GMO-free Regions: perfect instrument for both, agriculture and nature conservation
5) an EU directive on „economic coexistence“ might also have to adress „ecologic coexistence“. (Art.
   26b on subsidiarity in the protection of ecologic sensitive sites protected by MS law)

Consideration: For lobbying in order to protect nature preservation
- Dir. 2001/18 deals with the ecologic aspects in an exclusive way, so that additional Member states
  approaches to consider ecologic aspects, e.g. to protect ecological sensitive sites, are excluded by
  Dir. 2001/18
- Ecological co-existence legislation needed. GMO is only farmed for 1 % so why we protect that and
  take risk for it. Because environmental risk is the most important risk. GMOs are not “natural and
  historically evolved diversity”
- Established level of risk
- Consensus on scientific risk


Discussion on potential risk – no categorisation on risk, no categorization on protection on
nature conservation

Special rule on nature protected areas
Consent - Sharply specifically defined
Try challenge Commission
Significant effect by GMO cultivation
Diversity in nature protected areas in the member states. EU centralised procedure is impossible to
consider

Main argument should be according to environment
- Risk of new evolution path
- Protected area is compromised

2001/18 was based on Art 95 EC not on Art 175 EC (minimal measure), so it is difficult to add any
national protection measures even for nature protected areas.

In German law, economic activities in central zones only of some special areas of nature conservation
are forbidden in general, anyway farming is allowed in most of the areas.
- Bt (as insecticide) use is not allowed in nature protected areas?
Problem regarding NATURA 2000

EU has asked the member states to present a list of NATURA 2000 areas, however not all states have
fully presented yet.

NATURA 2000 Network for natural protected area (10% of member states area)
Natura2000 Directive: Environmental impact assessment (not applied for GMOs)
- Any significant effect by GMO on NATURA 2000 area MUST be prohibited

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EU Commission Communication on Precautionary Principle.
PP applies “degree of protection”
Prohibit GMOs in Natura 2000 areas and other sites of nature conservation
Compared to Bt, HT risk is low but not zero so still involved.


B4 - Outcome / Recommendation:
• Discussions on GMOs must not focus on economic coexistence but have to include environmental
   risks as one of the main risks of the use of GMOs.
• Under current EC law the ecologic aspects seem to be dealt with nearly exclusively by Dir.
   2001/18/EC, a directive based on the EC competence for the harmonization of the internal market,
   whereas economic aspects (“co-existence”) currently have to be solved by national legislators
   according to the principle of subsidiarity. Anyway it seems impossible to take into account the very
   specific situations, needs and protection targets of any nature protection site within the EC in the
   general environmental risk assessment of the EC authorisation procedure.
• On the one hand open and unanswered economic questions on co-existence might need
   clarification and harmonization by a coexistence directive; on the other hand the protection of
   nature conservation (“ecologic co-existence”) areas can be ensured most effectively by the local
   authorities.
• The current situation could lead to contradictions between EU GMO legislation and member
   states laws on nature conservation, which e.g. foresee the protection of “natural and historically
   evolved diversity”.
• In this context one has to keep in mind that the Precautionary Principle, in line with the
   Communication of the EC Commission has to be interpreted in relation to the degree of protection.
   Therefore one conclusion has to be, that the application of the Precautionary Principle with
   respect to special protected sites of nature conservation needs to be even more
   precautionary than it has to be to nature in general.
• The workshop recommends that, in accordance with the Subsidiarity Principle, and the
   Precautionary Principle Member States must be allowed to derogate from GMO regulations in the
   consent and allow stricter protection measures for eco-sensitive and other protected areas by the
   competent Local Authorities wherever appropriate.




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                                           B5 - Coexistence and seeds
                                                      background documents:
                                                      Austrian Farmers Organisation to EU Commission on GE Seed Contamination
                                                                                                                             http://www.gmo-free-
                                                           regions.org/Downloads/WS_B5_Austrian_Farmers_Organisation_EU_Commission.pdf
                                                      "The need for contamination and liability rules"
                                                                                     Genewatch Briefing (2004) an overview in co-existence issues
                                                                                          http://www.genewatch.org/publications/Briefs/brief29.pdf
                                                      First European Conference on Co-existence of Geneticall Modified Crops with
                                                      Conventional and Organic Crops
                                                        Various Danish and European Institutes and DK Ministry for Agriculture (November 2003)
                                                                                                                   http://www.agrsci.dk/gmcc-03/
                                                      Tuscan law on the Protection and Enhancement of Local Breeds and Varieties of
                                                      Interest to Farming, Animal Husbandry and Forestry
                                                            http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/Downloads/WS_B5_TUSCANY LAW ON SEEDS.pdf
                                                      Austrian 'Seed Purity Requirements'
                             by Benedikt Haerlin                                                                                Greepeace Austia
"Save our Seeds" / Foundation for Future Farming                      http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/Downloads/WS_B5_austrianseedpurity.pdf
                            & GENET, Germany          Memorandum regarding the planned EU directive on seed contamination
                                           (right)                                                                                 Save our Seeds
                              http://www.zs-l.de/                     http://www.saveourseeds.org/Download_Centre/memorandum_sos_eng.pdf
                                                      Ten arguments against GMO contamination of seeds
                          and Christian Schlatter                                                                                  Save our Seeds
          Research Institute on Organic Farming,                               http://www.saveourseeds.org/Download_Centre/ten_arguments.pdf
                                      Switzerland     Save our Seeds
                                             (left)                                          homepage with all background on EU seed legislation
            http://www.fibl.org/english/index.php                                                                   http://www.saveourseeds.org/




GMO in seeds - actual state of affairs
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GMO and Coexistence in Switzerland
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B5 - The Group Discussion
Moderation: -/-
Minutes: Eric Gall

It is planned to legalize the former contamination of seeds and to allow 0.3% in maize and oilseed
rape, 0.5% (potato, beet, etc.) and 0.7% for soya.

Unlabelled seed contamination would:
• Prevent registration of GM planting                  • Make a recall practically impossible (EU wide
• Make monitoring impossible                             seed disaster !)
• Prevent GMO-free zones and regions                   • Disable co-existence and liability regulations

No solid scientific basis for Commission’s proposal:
We should first look at the environment and safety aspects: Without thorough labelling of seeds GMOs
cannot be controlled as prescribed by the EU directive on deliberate release of GMO. During the “co-
existence” discussion in 2001 the Scientific Committee on Plants emphasises that 0% was not
possible otherwise no release of GMos will be possible. On the other hand, they did not commit that
the planned level of seed contamination will enable to respect 0.9% in the final product. This would be
a risky game for farmers. E.g. processors ask maximum 0.3%-0.5% contamination in maize crops.
Besides, 3 members of the SCP admitted since then that the calculations should be re-done. Seed-
saving would become impossible, at the benefit of seed companies. Seed testing costs would be too
high for farmers (150-200 euros per PCR test)

Save our Seeds initiative:
• No forced GMO cultivation through the back door
• GMO labelling in seeds at the detection limit (technical zero)
• NO additional costs for GMO-free farming

The petition is already signed by 200.000 citizens, 350 organisations with 25 million members. More
and more governments support the detection limit as threshold like the European Parliament and the
EESC. Experience, especially in Austria, shows that labelling at the practical detection limit (qualitative
testing of samples. If no GMO is detected in the sample, then GM contamination will not exceed 0,1%
in the entire batch of seeds) is a feasible value. This technical zero,has been observed not only In
Austria but also in > 99% of tested seeds around the EU, even though the seed industry denies it.


B5 - Outcome / Recommendation:
• Demand labelling of seeds at the detection level from the European Commission and member
   states
• Regions, local authorities, civil society should demand the disclosure of the results of the seed
   controls made by the government, before the planting season begins.
• Need to convince conventional farmers organisations to support the detection level as threshold
   (put existing letters on the web).
• Need to convince industry players on the food production chain to support the detection level as
   threshold, as they have to bear increasing risks if seeds, the first step of the production chain, are
   contaminated.
• Support from the Regions is important. Individual Regions should write letters to the Commission.
   In February, it would be especially important that Commissioner Dimas receive letters from Greek
   municipalities/Regions, Ms Fischer-Boel from Denmark, Mr Kyprianou from Cyprus.
• For now the priority is to communicate towards the Commission. But when the proposal is out, it
   will be decisive to convince governments, as they ultimately decide on the proposal (a qualified
   majority is needed to change the Commission proposal according to the comitology procedure.




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        B6 - GMO free regions and co-existence legislation in the EU
                                                        background documents:
                                                        Commssion recommendation of 23 July 2003 on guidelines for the development of
                                                        national strategies and best practices to ensure the coexistence of genetically
                                                        modified crops with conventional and organic farming
                                                        http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/Downloads/Commission_recomendation_Coexistence.pdf
                                                        OPINION of the European Economic and Social Committee on the Co-existence
                                                        between genetically modified crops, and conventional and organic crops
                                                                                                           http://sos.k42.org/coexistence/index.html
                                                        Campaign of the Assembly of European Regions and Friends of the Earth Europe for
                                                        GMO-free zones and regions - Key points on GMO issue - Risks of contamination
                                                                    http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/Downloads/AER_FoE_GM_Free_Zones _3.pdf
                                                        The co-existence of GMO crops with conventional and organic agriculture
                                                                                                                         Friends of the Earth Europe
                                                           http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/Downloads/FoE_coexistence_position_paper%20_2.pdf
                                                        Biotechnology Precautionary Bill of the Austrian region of Carinthian
                              by Agnès Ciccarone        http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/Downloads/foe_Biotech_Precautionary_Bill_Carinthian.pdf
           Assembly of European Regions, France         Danish Coexistence law
                                (front row, middle)                        http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/Downloads/Danish_Coexistence_law.pdf
     http://www.are-regions-europe.org/index.html       Danish co-existence law is full of weaknesses
                               and Geert Ritsema                                                        Friends of the Earth Europe Biotech mailout
             Friends of the Earth Europe, Belgium                           http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/Downloads/foe_Biotech_Danish_law.pdf
                                   (front row, right)   Luxembourg coexistence law
http://www.foeeurope.org/GMOs/gmofree/index.ht                       http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/Downloads/Luxembourg_coexistence_law.pdf
                                                   m    Dutch agreement on Coexistence
                                                                                                        Friends of the Earth Europe Biotech mailout
                                                                            http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/Downloads/foe_Biotech_Danish_law.pdf
                                                        Croatia adopts strict GMO laws
                                                                                                        Friends of the Earth Europe Biotech mailout
                                                                            http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/Downloads/foe_Biotech_Danish_law.pdf




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GM-free Regions and coexistence legislation in the EU – AER


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B6 - The Group Discussion
Moderation: Henning Strotthoff
Minutes: Veronika Mora

B6 - Outcome / Recommendation:
• EU should legally acknowledge "national, regional and local authorities" to declare themselves GE-
   free (for planting). This regional declaration should therefore be binding for that area. [e.g.
   Tuscany]
• EU should build up a register where "free associations of farmers and/or consumers" (at least 70%
   of the farmers) can register as a GE-free region and be legally protected as a first step towards
   establishing GE-free zones.
• EU legislation should define the minimum standards for coexistence-rules. Member States should
   have the right to implement stronger rules.

On Liability
• polluter pays principle
• burden of proof should be on the polluter
• all coexistence damages must be covered by the polluters jointly from seed to the plate
• adequate time-frames for claiming damage
• Tools implementing liability should be assessed, some potential ones:
  - direct responsibility
  - industry-fed fund
  - obligation to insure
  - seed companies must offer farmers the handing down of liability
       (Who should pay – GE farmer and/or seed company? How – through a fund or directly through
      prosecution?)

On Transparency – Refer to Aarhus Convention
• public register with exact locations and details of the GE plots (including cross-border registers)
• GE farmer have to register planting 6(3) month in advance
• neighbours need to be actively informed (including cross-border; and be able to raise objections)
• Consultation and participation – regions should be able to participate in EU-level decision-making
  (EFSA reports should be public etc.)

On Rules for Co-existence
• the goal is to guarantee zero contamination [zero = 0,1%] and to exclude crops unsuitable for coex
  (e.g. rape seed)
• special rules to keep GE plants out of elite seed production / nature protection areas (NATURA
  2000 etc.) / conservation activities for endangered traditional species and varieties of agricultural
  crops
• GE farming licence (how to handle them), which may be lost if harm is caused
• must be evaluated publicly

• Extra costs of labelling, monitoring and testing must be borne by the potential polluter (e.g. through
  paying a special tax)
• Environment protection – regular (6 months) monitoring and evaluation of monitoring
• Regions should strive to come to agreement with third countries where they import feed/food from.




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