CJEU Grand Chamber rules on the applicability of EU legislation on Genetically Modified Organisms to organisms obtained by mutagenesis

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The Grand Chamber of the CJEU delivered judgment this week in  Case C-528/16 Confédération Paysanne v. Premier Ministre ELCI:EU:C:2018:583, a reference under Article 267 TFEU from France’s Conseil d’État concerning the extent  to which EU regulation of genetically modified organisms under Directive 2001/18 and Directive 2002/53 applies to organisms obtained by mutagenesis, a process which generates mutations. Annex IB of Directive 2001/18 contains a conditional exemption for organisms obtained by mutagenesis. Departing to some extent from the reasoning of the Advocate-General's opinion, the CJEU held that organisms obtained by mutagenisis are indeed Genetically Modified Organisms subject in principle to regulation pursuant to the GMO Directive, and that the Directive's conditional exemption for certain techniques of mutagenesis does not apply to techniques that have emerged since the Directive's adoption. The Court's press summary is available here.  The judgment is available here.  Charles Banner appeared in the CJEU as sole counsel for the United Kingdom, instructed by the Government Legal Department.

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