Data source
Date of text
26 May 2005
Seat of court
Original language


Type of text
International court
Reference number
Court name
European Court of Justice
Timmermans, C.W.A
Gulmann, C.
Schintgen, R.
Léger, P.

EC legislation states that the accidental presence of GMOs does not have to be indicated on food labels if it remains below a threshold of 1% of the final product. Codacons, in opposition to the Italian health ministry, claims that this exception should not apply to baby food, citing the precautionary principle. The ECJ sees things differently, and focusses on the authorisation for GM food: “The precautionary principle, where relevant, is part of such a decision-making [authorisation] process”. It adds that nothing else in European Community GM and baby food legislation allows a special GM labelling regime for baby food. The judgement is the latest development in a series of disputes over the correct interpretation of a Council Regulation (EC) No 1139/98 of 26 May 1998 concerning the compulsory indication on the labelling of certain foodstuffs produced from genetically modified organisms of particulars other than those provided for in Directive 79/112/EEC, as amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No 49/2000 of 10 January 2000.