WASHINGTON, DC—The dispute over the European Union's long-standing ban on imports of US genetically-modified foods is like "watching a bad movie," said Christopher A. Padilla, assistant US trade representative for intergovernmental affairs.

"It's getting worse, not better. They've told us for four years that a lifting of the moratorium was just around the corner. How many times do we have to watch this bad movie before we know how it ends?" he asked. "The moratorium is motivated by politics. It is not motivated by science."

Padilla made his comments Feb. 13 at a forum sponsored by the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology in Washington, DC. The Bush administration is coming under increased pressure to file suit with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the EU's ban. But the matter is complicated by fears of retaliation as well as the administration's efforts to win European support for military action against...

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