U.S. Concerned that EU's Biotech Labeling Could be Burdensome - Could constitute non-tariff barrier, hurting efforts to expand trade

July 7, 2003

Washington, 04 Jul 2003

The United States is concerned that proposed EU regulations for labeling biotech foods could be needlessly burdensome and lead to the imposition of a new set of non-tariff barriers just at the time when the international community is trying to expand global trade, the State Department said on July 3.

The U.S. stressed that any regulation must protect consumer health and safety while maximizing consumer choice. "We agree that consumers should have information about the products they purchase so they can make choices," according to the State Department. "That is what the United States has done for years, but this information should be non-prejudicial in presentation and feasible for producers to provide."

The U.S. reiterated that the European Union's (EU) moratorium on new biotech approvals "is not based on scientific analysis, it blocks consumer choice, and jeopardizes the benefits biotechnology offers to the environment and to feeding the world's hungry."

Follow this link to the text of the State Department's response to a question from its July 2 noon briefing:

US Department of State

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