In our letter dated July 27th 2001, we have drawn your attention on the existing risks pertaining to GMOs according to the state of knowledge at the time of the mentioned letter, with a view to make sure that the risk of development could not be conjured up in any way in the future, in order to alleviate your responsibility, on the one hand in the contamination of non genetically modified seeds or fields, where human health is concerned, and on the other hand in the unfortunate event when such effects might appear.
Indeed, in the existing state of knowledge at the time of the letter, the potential negative effects on health and the environment were sufficiently known for you to assume totally the inherent risk related to your technology.
For your perfect information and for the record, you will please find enclosed a copy of the letter you had received at the time. Please note that none of the elements envisaged at the time was contradicted by the knowledge acquired since then.
Since then, and within the framework of Directive 2001/18, the first studies you used do highlight significant effects on rat populations that consumed genetically modified organisms.
It is correct that the latter studies, which you refused to reveal, in violation of the dispositions of the European Community legislation, to the citizens and thus to your clients, have been brought to the knowledge of the Publics Authorities, who seem to have chosen, for some of them, to be in a state of denial due to an intense lobbying effort on your part.
However it is just as true that, as producers, you are perfectly informed of the potential dangers concealed in your product, and therefore completely responsible for the potential consequences of the latter, notwithstanding any authorization from the Public Authorities, whatever it may be.
We would particularly like to draw your attention to the fact that since the European Parliament and Council Directive 2004/35 of 21 April 2004 only pertains to the environmental responsibility, and not to the public health responsibility , you would not be able to refer to the provisions of article 8.4 which enable the Member States to allow the operator not to bear the cost of remedial actions taken pursuant to this Directive, if they demonstrate that they were not at fault or negligent and that the environmental damage was caused by (a) an emission or event expressly authorised by, and fully in accordance with the conditions of, an authorisation conferred by or given under applicable national laws and regulations which implement those legislative measures adopted by the Community specified in Annex III, as applied at the date of the emission or event;
(b) an emission or activity or any manner of using a product in the course of an activity, which the operator can demonstrate was not considered likely to cause environmental damage according to the state of scientific and technical knowledge at the time when the emission was released or the activity took place.
Indeed, in relation to the first point, all the conditions linked to the authorization were not fulfilled in the sense that the studies you were withholding remain confidential and will not be subject to regular information of the public as provisioned by the Community Directive, and furthermore for the reasons that were pointed out to you in 2001, it goes without saying that according to the state of scientific and technical knowledge of the time when your activity took place, you could not possibly pretend that your activity could not be considered likely to cause any damage.