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Stavros Dimas
> Environment Commissioner
> European Commission
> Brussels
> 2nd December 2005
> Dear Mr Dimas
> GM Authorizations
> As you may be aware, we have been in correspondence with your colleague
> Peter Mandelson about the manner in which the EC continues to issue GM
> authorizations in the face of mounting public condemnation and mounting
> scientific evidence that there are serious health risks attached to
> some -- if not all -- GM foods. We have accused the Commission of
> being criminally negligent in this matter, and of placing the interests
> of the GM corporations above the health of the European consumer. We
> stand by that charge -- and indeed it is reinforced with every day that
> passes.
> Mr Mandelson informs us that you are the Commissioner who personally
> informs the Commission about GM authorization matters and who gives
> advice to colleagues as to whether consents should be issued. This
> places a unique burden of responsibility on your shoulders, as we are
> sure you are aware. Yet you appear to take virtually all of your
> advice from EFSA, which is a deeply discredited -- and in our view
> corrupt -- organization. You know of the charges which have been
> levelled against it by NGOs and consumer groups from all over Europe.
> You also appear to be incapable of taking any action which might be
> contrary to EFSA "advice"; this is a quite extraordinary situation,
> implying that the Commission "takes its instructions" from EFSA and
> that it is powerless to make any decisions that might make Harry Kuiper
> and his colleagues on the GMO Panel upset. That might help you to
> cover your backs in the event of a major health disaster, but it is
> profoundly dishonest. As we have reminded you before, more than once,
> you do not have to accept EFSA advice, and you must, according to your
> own rules, pay much more attention to the "predominant position" of
> member states and the people of Europe (1).
> We have copied our latest letter to Commissioner Mandelson to you, for
> your information. We repeat the call made to him: will you please now
> accept that the evidence from the newly reported GM feeding trials
> throws serious doubts on the safety of GM foods, whatever EFSA might
> say? Will you also please accept that no further GM authorizations can
> be given while this doubt persists? And will you follow the lead of
> the Government of Western Australia (2) and insist that EFSA
> commissions truly independent feeding trials on all of the GM varieties
> with existing consents, and all of those which are still in the
> authorization pipeline?
> We look forward to receiving a positive response from you on all of
> these points.
> Yours sincerely,
> Dr Brian John
> GM Free Cymru
> (1) Comitology procedures used to decide on GMOs are characterized by
> a lack of transparency and openness. They leave all the power to the
> Commission, which can authorise GMOs while ignoring the views of
> citizens and even of a majority of Member States. In addition, the
> Commission has abused its power by breaking several times its own
> statement to "act in such a way as to avoid going against any
> predominant position which might emerge within the Council against the
> appropriateness of an implementing measure" (Declarations 1999/C 203/01
> on Council Decision 1999/468/EC). We ask Member States to demand that
> the Commission respect its commitment to follow predominant positions
> expressed in the Council. Morevoer, we also ask for stakeholder
> involvement in preparing Committee meetings as well as opening the
> meetings to observers, in a belated attempt to improve transparency.
> (2)