|Author: ||A.K. Hvoslef-Eide|
|Keywords: ||genetically modified organisms, GMO, international law, Norwegian law, Norway, ethics, society|
The Norwegian Gene Technology Act came into force on 1 September 1993. It is an implementation of the EU directives EEC90/219 (Contained use) and EEC90/220 (Deliberate release) according to the economic agreement between Norway and EU (EEA). The directive on deliberate release has since been replaced by a new directive, EU/1829/2003. The main difference between the old directive and this new one from 2003 is that EU has placed a limit for content of GM traces in products and that if the product contains more than 2% of a genetically modified ingredient, the product must be labelled that it contains GMO.
The Norwegian Gene Technology Act builds on the same principles as the OECD Guidelines and the EU directives: that any use or release GMOs should not have any adverse effects on health nor environment.
In addition to these two requirements, the Norwegian Act has three more: (1) the GMO should promote sustainable development, (2) the GMO should be ethically justifiable and (3) the GMO should be beneficial to society.
The question is whether these extra criteria make it more difficult to get a permission under the Act in Norway, or whether they may indeed promote a GMO that fulfils the extra criteria and hence may allow a different type of product to be released in Norway than elsewhere?
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