Co-Existence measures

Co-existence measures and legal aspects

A committee on co-existence was established in 2005. Until the committee's results have been published and discussed, the Greek government will not draught relevant legislation.

Legal framework

Since no GM crops are commercially cultivated in Greece, the country has no pressing need to regulate co-existence. Nevertheless, a committee has been working on this topic, and proposals for legislation are expected in 2006. Most consider co-existence in Greece a challenge because average field sizes are small.

Liability for economic damages

Legislation on liability for economic losses due to mixing of non-GM harvests with GM products is expected as soon as the committee on co-existence publishes its findings.

Enforcement of compliance

As soon as co-existence regulations come into practice, measures to enforce compliance will be retroactively implemented.

International survey

Greece participated in a state survey (a questionnaire for the National Authorities) concerning the liability rules applicable in the case of economic losses due to admixture of GMOs in non-GM crops. The survey was organised by the Austrian presidency during spring 2006. The following are extracts from the Greek responses.

Did your country already introduce legislation (at the national and/or the regional level) regulating the cultivation of genetically modified crops or are you about to do so? If so, please list the relevant instruments, preferably with a brief description of their respective scope. Please indicate in particular whether and to what extent they specifically address the coexistence of genetically modified crops with conventional and/or organic farming.

Answer: NO

Are there any specific provisions in the laws of your country dealing with the costs associated with sampling and testing of GMO presence in other products, either in the case of justified suspicion of GMO presence or in the case of general monitoring?

Answer: Greece is upholding a temporary national ban of seeds of all GM maize hybrids registered in the Common Catalogue. Moreover, before the adoption of co-existence measures including liability measures, there is in force the Common Ministerial Decision No 332657 since 2001. This national legislative measure concerns sampling and detection of adventitious GMO presence in seeds of conventional varieties. The cost of these checks are not directly paid by the involved seed enterprises, but they are incorporated in the fees paid by them for official checks dealing with the quality of seeds. A similar regime exists also for food and feed imports.

In case your country did not (yet) introduce a special liability regime as described in point 2, how would the general liability rules apply in the case of economic damage resulting from GMO presence in conventional or organic crops. Please use the questions in annex 1 to describe how the rules would apply.

Answer: See answer as above

To the extent specific legislation as just described has not yet been passed, are there any plans at present already to introduce such rules into the laws of your country in the future?

(a) If so, at what stage is the legislative process currently?

Answer: In the first place, measures for co-existence of genetically modified crops with conventional and organic cultivation have not been taken yet in our country. However, the co-competent Services of our Ministry, in co-operation with scientific experts, are at the stage of processing these measures, intending to include them in our national legislation.

(b) To what extent are stakeholders included in the process?

Answer: Stakeholders will participate as consultants to find solutions in every problem that will arise. Additionally, other Ministries will also be involved in time.

(c) Please describe the intended measures according to the guiding questions listed supra for the existing regimes (including Annex I below to the extent applicable).

Answer: All topics, mentioned in Annex I, are already taken in consideration and they will further be developed.

Regional Co-extra reporter /rapporteur:
  • Giorgos Sakellaris
    NHRF, Institute of Biological Research & Biotechnology
    48, V. Constantinou Ave., 116 35 Athens, Greece
    Phone: +30-2-1-0-7273-735

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