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Genetically modified food & feed

Genetically modified food & feed


Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 on genetically modified food and feed



It lays down rules on how genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are authorised and supervised, and on how genetically modified food and animal feed is labelled.

It aims to protect:

people's lives and health

animal health and welfare

environmental and consumer interests.


The regulation applies to:

GMOs used in food or in animal feed

food or animal feed containing GMOs

food or feed made with or containingingredients made using GMOs.

Applying for authorisation


Producers submit a single application covering all uses: food, animal feed and cultivation.


Within 2 weeks the competent authority in the relevant EU country acknowledges receipt and informs the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA).


EFSA has 6 months to assess the application.

Risk management

The European Commission is responsible for risk management.

Based on EFSA’s assessment, the Commission drafts a recommendation to accept or reject the application.

If the committee accepts the proposal, the Commission adopts it. If not, the Council assesses the draft decision, and decides whether or not the Commission should adopt it.


Food and feed containing GMOs should be clearly labelled.

But if food or feed contains less than 0.9 % GMOs, it does not need to be labelled – as long as the GMO content is technically unavoidable.



* Genetically modified organism: an organism whose genetic material has been altered by means of genetic engineering to include genes that it would not normally contain.


Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 on genetically modified food and feed (OJ L 268, 18.10.2003, pp. 1–23)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 503/2013 of 3 April 2013 on applications for authorisation of genetically modified food and feed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council and amending Commission Regulations (EC) No 641/2004 and (EC) No 1981/2006 (OJ L 157, 8.6.2013, pp. 1–48)

Directive (EU) 2015/412 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2015 amending Directive 2001/18/EC as regards the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their territory (OJ L 68, 13.3.2015, pp. 1–8)

last update 24.11.2015