Italian foreign minister offers GMO pledge to US

June 4, 2003

Brussels, 03 Jun 2003

It is in Europe's interest to resolve any outstanding issues with regard to the governing and labelling of genetically modified organisms, said Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini during a meeting with US Secretary of State, Colin Powell on 2 June in Rome.

Mr Frattini told Mr Powell these issues could be resolved by mid July, at which time the European Parliament will meet to vote on an EU regulation that foresees the eventual commercialisation of genetically modified organisms.

Europe's authorisation procedure for GMOs has met with criticism from the US, which argues that Europe is blocking the use of a technology that could benefit farmers and consumers around the world. The US has since filed a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO), calling for further analysis of the relevant EU laws.

While the new regulation will clarify matters, the Commission still argues that US claims are unfounded, as a number of new GMO authorisations are already being processed.

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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