POSITION PAPER ON THE OPINION OF ADVOCATE GENERAL BOBEK DELIVERED ON 18 JANUARY 2018 IN CASE C-528/16

In December 2014, 9 French NGOs initiated legal proceedings against an Article of the French Environmental Code, which implements the EU GMO Directive. They argued that plant varieties in rapeseed and sunflower resulting from traditional or new forms of mutagenesis constitute ‘new hidden GMOs’ and as such need to be regulated as GMOs. The French Conseil d’Etat referred four preliminary questions to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), essentially to ascertain whether organisms resulting from traditional and new forms of mutagenesis should be subject to the GMO legislation. One year later, in October 2017, the ECJ convened in a grand chamber hearing, and on 18 January 2018 Advocate General Bobek delivered his Opinion in the case. European Seed met with Geert Glas, a lawyer from Allen & Overy, who published a legal article on the Court Case in Bioscience Law Review last year. Geert Glas, Partner at Allen & Overy (Belgium) LLP was asked by the European Seed Sector to provide a legal view on the opinion of the Advocate General.