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Document 62010TN0478

Case T-478/10: Action brought on 4 October 2010 — Département du Gers v Commission

OJ C 346, 18.12.2010, p. 49–50 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

C 346/49

Action brought on 4 October 2010 — Département du Gers v Commission

(Case T-478/10)


2010/C 346/95

Language of the case: French


Applicant: Département du Gers (Auch, France) (represented by: S. Mabile and J.-P. Mignard, lawyers)

Defendant: European Commission

Form of order sought

annul Decision 2010/419/EU of the European Commission of 28 July 2010 authorising the marketing of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize Bt11 (SYN-BTØ11-1), pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council;

order the Commission to pay all the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

The applicant, a French ‘département’ with a large agricultural sector and which cultivates vast fields of maize, seeks the annulment of Commission Decision 2010/419/EU authorising the marketing of genetically modified maize or products containing such maize.

In support of its action, the applicant raises two pleas in law:

A plea of illegality raised against Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 on genetically modified food and feed, (1) on the basis of which the contested decision was adopted, in so far as:

Regulation No 1829/2003 infringes the principle of institutional balance in that (i) the European Parliament did not have any power during the authorisation procedure while the Commission had too much power, and (ii) the Member States were left without any discretion;

Regulation No 1829/2003 infringes the precautionary principle in that it fails to take sufficient account of the threats to public health, the environment, agriculture and rearing which genetically modified food and feed would pose;

Regulation No 1829/2003 infringes the rights of consumers, first, by failing to provide for any measure enabling consumers to be informed that the animals which they consume have been fed GMOs and, second, by permitting substantively incorrect information regarding the absence of GMOs in products which actually contain GMOs but in a proportion no higher than 0.9 %;

the contested decision is unlawful:

it fails to provide sufficient reasoning, which constitutes an infringement of an essential procedural requirement, in so far as the Commission's decision merely refers to the opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (‘EFSA’);

the Commission failed to exercise the powers invested in it (‘incompétence négative’) by refraining from exercising its discretion, which constitutes a misuse of procedure;

the precautionary principle was infringed, since the methods of evaluation used by EFSA were incomplete and the evaluation of maize Bt11 was too uncertain;

the rights of consumers were infringed by failing to label animals fed with maize Bt11 and due to a lack of transparency in relation to products containing less than 0.9% of maize Bt11.

(1)  OJ 2003 L 268, p. 1.