Safeguard Clause

National safeguard measures on GMOs under environmental legislation

Where a Member State, as a result of new or additional information made available since the date of the consent and affecting the environmental risk assessment or reassessment of existing information on the basis of new or additional scientific knowledge, has detailed grounds for considering that a GMO as or in a product which has been properly notified and has received written consent under this Directive constitutes a risk to human health or the environment, that Member State may provisionally restrict or prohibit the use and/or sale of that GMO as or in a product on its territory (directive 2001/18/ECArticle 23 (Safeguard clause)).
Directive 2001/18/EC (see Article 23)

List of safeguard clauses

Invocation of Article 16 under Directive 90/220/EEC and Article 23 under Directive 2001/18/EC (Safeguard clause)

Example France

France triggers safeguard clause (MON 810):


The European Commission asked EFSA to provide a scientific reply to questions relating to five genetically modified organisms (GMOs) subject to safeguard clauses invoked by certain Member States to restrict or prohibit their use at national level. EFSA’s Panel on genetically modified organisms (GMO Panel) concluded that on the basis of current knowledge and within the scope of the specific questions asked by the European Commission, there is no reason to believe that the continued placing on the market of the five GMOs is likely to cause any adverse effects for human and animal health or the environment.

Bt176 maize, MON810 maize, T25 maize, Topas 19/2 oilseed rape and Ms1xRf1 oilseed rape: