Only officially authorized food or feed can be marketed or cultivated in the European Union. The authorization process of any commercial products, thus GM products does not fall within the competence of the EU Member States, however Member States may make decisions regarding the deliberate release (field trial) of GMOs into the environment.

The European Commission, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the EU Member States take part in the decision making process regarding the authorization of GM products. The environmental and health risk assessment of the product is conducted and evaluated prior to the final decision. The European Commission submits its proposal on authorization based on the EFSA’s opinion and the Member States can vote for or against it.

Two genetically modified plants have been authorized for cultivation in the European Union so far, the MON810 GM maize and the Amflora GM potato; the latter was withdrawn from the market after two years because of the judgement of the European Court of Justice on the Amflora court case launched by Hungary. The cultivation of both crops have been banned in Hungary, since the cultivation of any GMOs are forbidden in the country.