Procedure to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs in Italy

Legislative decree 14 November 2016, n. 227 implementating directive (EU) 2015/412, amending directive 2001/18/EC as regards the possibility for Member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on their territory, amended legislative decree 8 July 2003, n. 224, introducing a two step mechanism that makes possible to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs on Italian territory (Title III-bis of legislative decree 8 July 2003, n. 224).

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies is the Competent Authority for the implementation of legislative decree 14 November 2016, n. 227.

The two-step mechanism provides:

First step: during the authorisation procedure of a GMO or during the renewal of a GMO authorisation, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry in agreement with the Standing Conference on the relations between the State, regions and the autonomous provinces, may demand, to the person requesting authorization for the cultivation of the GMO (pursuant legislative decree 8 July 2003, n. 224, directive 2001/18/EC or Regulation (EC) n. 1829/2003), to adjust the geographical scope.

If the notifier adjust the geographical scope of his initial demand, this adjustment shall be implemented in the authorization.

Second step: if no demand for adjustment of the geographical scope was made or were the notifier/applicant confirm the geographical scope of its initial demand, the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies may adopt measures restricting or prohibiting the cultivation of a GMO.

Such measures shuld be in conformity with Union law, reasoned, proportional and non-discriminatory and, in addition, are based on compelling grounds such as those related to:

  • environmental policy objectives;
  • town and country planning;
  • land use;
  • socioeconomic impacts;
  • avoidance of GMO presence in other products without prejudice to Article 26-bis of directive 2001/18/EC;
  • agricultural policy objectives;
  • public policy. 

The Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, in agreement with the Minister of Health and the Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection, may revoke the restriction or prohibition measures. Those measures shall be communicated to the European Commission and to the other Member States without delay.

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TITLE III bis  224 2003