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2. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/35

As of course all other calves will not be delivered at 300 kg live weight and with ‘good to excellent conformation’
there must have been errors in the Dutch and Belgian returns to Eurostat.

1. Will the Commission give documentary evidence of the average carcass weight for calves whose live
weight is less than 300 kg?

2. Will the Commission show the distribution of calves slaughtered in 1995 in the Netherlands and Belgium,
broken down by weight groups?

3. If this is claimed to be impossible, will the Commission state the estimated distribution among the weight
groups for the Netherlands and Belgium of slaughter calves which can produce an average weight of 162 kg?

(1) OJ C 174, 8.6.1998, p. 120.

Supplementary answer
given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission
(27 February 1998)

Further to its answer of 13 February 1998 (1), the Commission is now able to provide the following additional
information.

The Commission takes note of the analysis provided by the Honourable Member in respect of weight references
for calves.

Since the Council opted for Eurostat references in designing the general rules for the early marketing premium
the Commission had to rely on information from Member States to its Statistical office. Within the category of
calves, i.e. animal up to a maximum of 300 kilogrammes liveweight, information is provided on the total number
of veal calves slaughtered and the total carcase weight of those calves.

The reported 1995 figures for the Netherlands were 1 198 000 calves equal to 193 900 tonnes while the
corresponding figures in Belgium were 336 000 calves and 53 800 tonnes, equalling averages of 162
kilogrammes and 160 kilogrammes respectively.

In respect of the last two questions raised, the Commission does not receive statistical details from Member
States which would enable it to establish the weight distributions requested.

(1) OJ C 223, 17.7.1998, p. 120.

(98/C 304/49) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0130/98
by Kirsten Jensen (PSE) to the Commission
(30 January 1998)

Subject: GMO

Can the Commission confirm that a genetically modified tomato, which should be less perishable and therefore
rot more slowly than natural tomatoes, is about to be approved in the EU?

Does it think it is defensible to allow this product on the market when it contains an antibiotic-resistant gene
which can perhaps be transmitted to humans?
C 304/36 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10. 98

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission
(18 March 1998)

At the end of November 1997 the Commission received a dossier concerning genetically modified tomatoes from
the Spanish authorities under Article 12(2)(a) of Council Directive 90/220/EEC on the deliberate release of
genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the environment (1). The procedure laid down in Article 13 is under
way. The tomato contains an antibiotic resistance gene used as a marker gene and a partial endogenous
polygalacturonase (PG) gene which decreases the rate of fruit softening.

Directive 90/220/EEC stipulates that before a GMO product is placed on the market an assessment must be
carried out of the potential risks for human health and the environment. Accordingly, all GMO product
notifications are assessed on a case by case basis which includes consideration of the genes inserted into the
organism in question.

To date, the Commission has received no information on the marketing of genetically modified tomatoes as a
novel food or novel food ingredient pursuant to Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 258/97 of the European
Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 1997 concerning novel foods and novel food ingredients (2).

(1) OJ L 117, 8.5.1990.
(2) OJ L 43, 14.2.1997.

(98/C 304/50) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0134/98
by Georg Jarzembowski (PPE) to the Commission
(23 January 1998)

Subject: Shipbuilding industry

The European shipbuilding industry faces fierce competition. Widespread subsidy schemes have distorted the
international market and resulted in over-capacity throughout the world. The 1994 OECD agreement seeking to
produce uniform conditions for competition has yet to be ratified by the USA. While support measures for the
shipbuilding industry in the EU have nevertheless rightly been restructured, with order-related subsidies in
particular to be completely abolished, Far East yards are still receiving massive subsidies which are distorting
competition. After the collapse of the financial markets in East Asia the provision of billions in IMF aid seems
likely to preserve this overcapacity and hence the distortions of competition.

1. Has the Commission therefore investigated the extent to which funds put up by the IMF are being passed on
even to the State-aided shipbuilding industry in South Korea, the world market leader? If it has, what has it
discovered? If it has not, why not, and will it now do so?

2. Has the Commission held talks with the Member States to ensure that they are not, by their indirect aid via
IMF payments and the support the latter are giving to South Korean yards, undermining the European
shipbuilding policy, which seeks to create a competitive European shipbuilding industry?

Answer given by Sir Leon Brittan on behalf of the Commission
(23 February 1998)

At the request of the Council, and having regard to the possibility of a delay in or failure of the entry into force of
the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) agreement because the United States’
fails to ratify it, the Commission put up a proposal for a new aid scheme for the industry in order to make
European shipbuilding competitive in the future and prepare it for the challenges of the new millennium.