The Challenge of Regulating Genetically Modified Organisms in the European Union: Trends and Issues

  • Hans-Georg DedererEmail author
Part of the Environmental Protection in the European Union book series (ENVPROTEC, volume 5)


The regulation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has always been a tough challenge to the EU because of the public’s persistent hostility towards GMOs and genetically modified (GM) food and feed. In particular, the EU member states bowing to their populations’ concerns have continuously obstructed the authorisation processes for GMOs and GM food and feed. Since April 2015, member states may choose to opt-out from GMO cultivation, i.e. to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of authorised GM crop plants within their territory. Such opt-out measures, however, need to be justified by compelling grounds set forth in the new opt-out clause inserted into Directive 2001/18/EC. The interpretation and application of these compelling grounds raise intricate problems. Another delicate issue is the conformity of national GMO cultivation bans with primary EU law and WTO law. Finally, the recent development of new breeding techniques such as CRISPR-Cas casts the EU’s regulatory approach, i.e. the technique-based ‘process approach’, into serious doubt.


European Union Member State Genetically Modify European Food Safety Authority European Union Member State 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of PassauPassauGermany

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