GM Foods, Risk, Precaution and the Internal Market: Did Both Sides Win the Day in the recent Judgment of the European Court of Justice?

Patrycja Dabrowska-Klosinska

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Almost exactly one year after the famous judgments of the Court of First Instance on the precautionary principle, the European Court of Justice (hereinafter “the Court”) has issued a preliminary ruling further exploring this concept. The ruling arose from a national dispute concerning a temporary ban on novel foods produced from genetically modified organisms (hereinafter “GMOs”). This recent Monsanto judgment is the first case in which the Court has directly invoked the precautionary principle regarding Member States’ power to adopt a provisional prohibition on the marketing of GMO-derived novel foods. Simultaneously, the Court lent an ear to the arguments of Monsanto by declaring the validity of the simplified procedure laid down in the novel foods Regulation 258/97 and based on the contentious concept of substantial equivalence. Thus, it seems to have favoured the free circulation in the Community market of novel foodstuffs notwithstanding the presence of residues of genetically modified (hereinafter “GM”) protein, on the condition that there is no risk to human health.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)151-166
Number of pages16
JournalGerman Law Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2004

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