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25. 2.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 60/35

(e) hence, on 14 June 1996, the Commission decided to allow the use, in payment of the supply costs, of fruit in
respect of which the withdrawal period had just started at the beginning of June, applying in so doing Article
2 (2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1975/95 and Article 2 (2) of Commission Regulation (EC) No 2009/95
under which supply costs may be paid for by resorting to products belonging to ‘the same group of
products’.

3. The Commission, before taking its decisions, carefully examined the situation of the markets in the fruits
concerned and evaluated the effects of the measures envisaged. In this connection, it should in the first place be
pointed out that the quantity of peaches processed on average each year in the Community amounts to
500 000 tonnes. The quantity in question for the payment of the supply costs could not consequently have a
significant effect on the market in peaches. Secondly, the Commission decisions cover three new products,
namely peaches, nectarines and apricots. This opening to three products considerably reduces the impact of any
effects on markets.

4. For a fruit of a given variety, the quantity which is the subject of withdrawals is not directly related to the
volume of production. While it is a fact that Italy is the major Community producer of peaches, two-thirds of
production is harvested in Greece, Spain and France. No correlation can be established between the quantities of
peaches withdrawn from the market in Italy, which result from the market situation, and the fact that the
successful tenderer in question is based in Italy.

5. The market prices of peaches for processing and for consumption in the fresh state were so low in the 1996
marketing year that at least 600 000 tonnes of peaches had to be withdrawn from the market, being in most cases
distilled or destroyed.

With the market in this state of collapse, prices were very frequently markedly lower than the price of apples
recorded at the time of the invitation to tender.

6. The Honourable Member is invited to refer to items 3 and 5. It should furthermore be pointed out that
average Community production is 3 200 000 tonnes. The quantity of 65 000 tonnes, which could have
represented the payment to the successful tenderer(s), accounts for only 2% of this volume of production and
could not cause market disturbance.

In addition, market prices were not high, and it would have been inconceivable, had they been, to count on
withdrawals as a means of defraying the successful tenderers’ expenses.

7. and 8. The Commission, entrusted by the Council with the execution of these measures as well as with the
monitoring of the supply operations (Council Regulation (EC) No 1975/95 Article 4 (1)), supervised the progress
of the operations. It is not aware that the successful tenderers placed back on the market any products taken over,
in breach of Article 3(2) of Regulation (EC) No 228/96.

The obligation not to put back on the market the products taken over is sanctioned, where appropriate, by the
withholding of a substantial security. The Commission did in fact receive evidence from the national authorities
that the provisions of the tendering procedure were complied with by the successful tenderers.

9. Yes.

(1) OJ L 30, 8.2.1996.


(2) OJ L 191, 12.8.1995.
(3) OJ L 196, 19.8.1995.

(98/C 60/61) WRITTEN QUESTION P-1651/97


by Hiltrud Breyer (V) to the Commission
(5 May 1997)

Subject: Implementation of EC 258/97 Novel Food Regulation

The Novel Food Regulation EC 258/97 (1) will come into force on 15 May 1997 and before this date all Member
States will need to know how it is to be interpreted. Many issues concerning its implementation have not been
resolved and the Commission has not published guidelines dealing with the most difficult questions of scope and
labelling.

1. Why has the Commission not published guidelines dealing with Articles 1 (applicability), 2 (scope) and
8 (labelling) despite much room for dispute over interpretation?
C 60/36 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 25. 2. 98

2. Will gene maize and gene soya, already authorized for marketing, now be labelled under the Food
Labelling Directive 79/112 (2)and if so what detailed criteria will be applied?

3. Will the Commission confirm that under Article 8 of this regulation, the four separate labelling criteria
listed under paragraphs (a) to (d) will be applied individually and independently of each other so that the
foodstuff will be labelled if the conditions in any one of these subparagraphs are met?

4. What provisions are foreseen for prohibiting the use of novel ingredients and products in baby food as
recommended by the Scientific Committee on Food?

5. Will the molecular structure and the use of DNA-destroying enzymes in novel foods be indicated in product
applications and labels?

6. Will products or ingredients produced using gene technology or incorporating a GMO continue to be
classified as novel if a substantially equivalent item has previously been approved under EC 258/97?

7. Will gene food products and crops already approved under Community or national legislation be treated as
signifying previous use for human consumption to a significant degree within the Community?

(1) OJ L 43, 14.2.1997, p. 1.


(2) OJ L 33, 8.2.1979, p. 1.

Additional answer
given by Mr Bangemann on behalf of the Commission
(24 July 1997)

Further to its answer of 29 May 1997 will the Honourable Member please refer to the answers given by the
Commission, more particularly to his Oral Question No 0-65/97, during the joint discussion concerning novel
foods on the agenda for the plenary session held in June 1997. The Commission will take steps to answer the
more specific points not contained in the oral question referred to above in its forthcoming answers to the series
of questions recently put to it on this same subject.

(98/C 60/62) WRITTEN QUESTION P-1652/97


by Johanna Maij-Weggen (PPE) to the Commission
(5 May 1997)

Subject: Rice market

1. In the Commission’s view, what are the causes of the crisis on the rice market, and how does it arrive at this
conclusion?

2. Is the Commission aware that there is a fall in prices not only on the Indica rice market but also on the
Japonica rice market? How great is the fall in prices and what does the Commission think is the cause? Has
Japonica rice been imported into the Union in the last six months? What volume is involved, and where has it
been imported from?

3. What was the volume of production of Indica rice in the Union in the season just ended, how much has
already been sold and what quantity is still available? Given the shortage of Indica rice within the Union, does the
Commission see any justification for exemption measures?

4. What is the extent of the shortage of (Indica) rice within the Union and from where, and at what price, will it
be imported in order to meet the demand for consumption within the Union?

5. How does the Commission calculate the difference in price between rice originating in the OCT and
Community rice, and what was the price of Community rice compared with rice from the OCT in the season just
ended?

6. Can the Commission indicate the growth in OCT imports in comparison with the years 1995 and 1996, and
state how it arrives at these figures?

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