European Court of Justice Rules Against National Authorization Requirements
6 September 2012: The European Court of Justice has ruled that the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) approved at the EU level cannot be made subject to an additional national authorization procedure. Also according to the ruling, cultivation cannot be prohibited pending the adoption of coexistence measures.
The ruling refers to a case in which the cultivation of a GMO crop that was approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was prohibited by national authorities in Italy. The ruling states that the cultivation of GMOs cannot be made subject to a national authorisation procedure when the use and marketing of those varieties are authorized and have been accepted for inclusion in the EU's common catalogue of varieties of agricultural plant species.
The ruling further clarifies that the EU Directive on the deliberate release into the environment of GMOs does not entitle a Member State to prohibit in a general manner the cultivation on its territory of such GMOs, pending the adoption of coexistence measures to avoid the unintended presence of GMOs in other crops. [Judgment of the Court] [ECJ Website]