Case C-132/03 Reference for a preliminary ruling in the Codacons case

Judgement was given by the ECJ on 26 May 2005 on a referral from the Consiglio di Stato (Italy) for a preliminary ruling in the case between Codacons and the Italian Ministry of Health.

The case before the ECJ concerned the interpretation of Article 2(2)(b) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1139/98 concerning the compulsory indication on the labelling of certain foodstuffs produced from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) of particulars other than those provided for in Directive 79/112/EEC.

The particular question which arose was whether the provision which exempts the labelling of foodstuffs where the presence of material derived from certain GMOs has come about as the result of adventitious contamination and does not exceed the 1% threshold, could also apply to food stuffs intended for infants and young children?

As there are separate Directives which determine the rules on the composition and labelling of foodstuffs for infants and young children the court was asked to determine whether the specific labelling requirements of Regulation No 1139/98 also applied to such foodstuffs.

The ECJ held that the exemption from labelling as contained within Article 2(2)(b) of Regulation 1139/98 could also apply to the labelling of foodstuffs for infants and young children and that this interpretation could not be called into question on the basis of the precautionary principle.

The full judgement can be found in English at the following link.


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