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Trade dispute over GMOs reignites

US dispute, but new EU measures could complicate matters further

Andrew Scott(andrewscotteurope@yahoo.co.uk)

The dispute between the United States and the European Union about the lack of new approvals for genetically modified (GM) crops in Europe since mid-1998 has entered a new phase. The issue was reignited last month, when the United States officially requested World Trade Organisation (WTO) consultations with the European Union.

Biotech industry representatives on both sides of the Atlantic agree on the need for a quick resolution. "This is a matter for governments," Simon Barber of EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, told The Scientist, "but for everybody's sake, we would like to see the issue resolved quickly."

Lisa Dry of the US Biotechnology Industry Organization was more direct, commenting, "The illegal moratorium [in Europe] has cost US farmers in excess of $1 billion in terms of lost grain exports... The Europeans have continued to present new non-science based hurdles at every juncture… We have no choice...

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