Dáil Éireann - Volume 483 - 26 November, 1997

Written Answers. - Genetically Modified Products.

102. Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the approach, if any, he has taken at the Council of Ministers in relation to the issue of introducing [1044] genetically modified maize into the European Union; whether he will support the actions of Austria and Luxembourg to impose a ban under Article 16 of EU Directive 90/220/EEC; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20670/97]

Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Dempsey): The procedures for addressing the provisional prohibition by a member state of a genetically modified product for which consent has been granted under Directive 90/220/EEC are set down in Articles 16 and 21 of the directive.

The provisional prohibition action by Austria and Luxembourg in relation to the particular maize — Zea mays L. — product in question is currently being addressed by the committee provided for in the first paragraph of Article 21 of the directive and, pending the outcome of this official level procedure, the matter may or may not arise directly for consideration by the Council of Environment Ministers. At a meeting of the committee on 5 November 1997, Ireland indicated that it would not support current proposals from the Commission requiring Austria and Luxembourg to repeal their prohibition action.