GENET archive


6-Regulation: Welch Assembly forced by EC fine to approve GE crops

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                                  PART I
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TITLE:  GM seed labelling measures approved
SOURCE: icWales, UK,
DATE:   November 8, 2001

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GM seed labelling measures approved

The Welsh Assembly today approved new measures over genetically-modified 
seed after being threatened with a pound 300 million fine from Europe. 
Members voted to approve new regulations for strict labelling of GM seeds 
after being warned the Assembly was in breach of EU obligations as the 
measures should have been passed in February. Plaid Cymru abstained from 
the vote on the measures, saying they did not go far enough. The 
regulations come on top of new directives approved by the Assembly last 
month aimed at consolidating the internal market on seeds and introducing 
new safeguards on genetically-modified plant varieties. The Assembly was 
forced to scale down its opposition to GM crops after being warned refusal 
to do so could result in legal proceedings from Europe. The Lib-Lab 
coalition has pledged to press for a moratorium on all GM crop trials in 
Wales. That policy is in line with the Assembly's expressed desire to 
operate the most restrictive policy possible on future commercial GM crop 
developments within the context of existing EU legislation. Because of the 
Assembly's action, the UK was in breach of its EU obligations and 
infraction proceedings have been launched against the UK Government. The 
Government told the Welsh Assembly it would not intervene and it was up to 
Cardiff to act.

                                  PART II
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TITLE:  Assembly avoids pound 300m fine
SOURCE: South Wales Echo, posted by icWales, UK, http://icwales.icnetwork.
DATE:   October 24, 2001

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Assembly avoids pound 300m fine

The National Assembly has avoided being fined pound 300m over its stance on 
genetically modified crops. AMs yesterday backed down in the face of a 
500,000 Euro a-day fine by the European Commission if they did not approve 
new regulations on GM seeds. Rural Affairs Minister Carwyn Jones warned 
that the EC had begun proceedings over the assembly's fail ure to approve 
the rules. And he told colleagues that a consequence of the proceedings is 
a daily fine, backdated to February 2000. The Welsh executive wants a 
moratorium on all GM crop trials in Wales. Approval of the seeds 
regulations came despite a call by Plaid Cymru for the assembly not to 
waver in its opposition to GM crops. Mr Jones said: "We have to play by the 
rules of the game. "There are other ways of putting forward our point of 
view. "We will continue to ensure we influence the matter in Europe."


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