Rules on the use of genetically modified crops

Before a GM crop can be used in the European Union, in agriculture or as fodder or food, the genetically modified organism (GMO) must be approved at European Union (EU) level. The producer must provide scientific evidence that the crop is harmless to humans, animals and the environment. If a GMO is approved for a particular use, the approval applies to all EU Member States.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) conducts risk assessments in respect of licence applications. In the Netherlands the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) reviews the assessment of risks to humans and the environment. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) reviews the evaluation of food safety and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and food Quality (LNV) reviews the safety of animal feeds.

The Netherlands Commission on Genetic Modification (COGEM) advises the Government on environmental risks associated with European licence applications for GMOs. Wageningen Food Safety Research carries out a quick scan of the risks.