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U.S. criticizes ‘unnecessary’ EU rules on genetically modified crops

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, April 1, 2013 19:57 EDT
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Ear of corn via AFP
 
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The United States on Monday criticized “unnecessary” European Union rules against genetically modified US crop imports as it prepares to enter free-trade talks with the EU.

EU restrictions notably have resulted in delays in the approval of new GM traits “despite positive assessments by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA),” the US Trade Representative’s office said in a report on reducing trade sanitary barriers.

The USTR also criticized the EU for imposing “commercially infeasible requirements” on GE content in food products under EU Traceability and Labeling regulations.

“Foreign governments continue to impose discriminatory or otherwise unwarranted measures on US agricultural exports,” Demetrios Marantis, the acting USTR, said in a conference call.

“These barriers not only harm US ranchers and farmers… but they also deprive consumers around the world an access to safe, high-quality US food and agricultural goods,” Marantis said.

The US and the EU are planning to launch negotiations aimed at creating the world’s biggest free-trade area that will cover the politically sensitive question of genetically modified crops.

Allowed in the US, they are strictly regulated in the EU where only two GM crops have been authorized. Eight member states, including Germany and France, have adopted measures to keep them out.

The USTR pointed to the EU’s “unnecessary and burdensome coexistence requirements to planting of GE crops alongside non-GE crops by certain EU member states.”

A French official, speaking on condition of anonymity last month, said that France did not want the upcoming trade negotiations to cover genetically modified crops.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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