EU Passes GMO Labeling Laws

The European Parliament on Wednesday passed laws requiring the labeling of all genetically modified food, a move which could lead the EU to lift an unofficial ban on GM crops but may not be enough to halt a U.S. trade suit, Reuters News Service reported.

The new regulations will require the food industry to segregate GM from conventional crops and put strict limits on the accidental mixing of GM into traditional food imports.

Delighted anti-GM campaigners said the new rules would keep the EU closed to GM food, as consumers would choose not to buy it. "This new legislation paves the way for a GMO-free Europe," Geert Ritsema of green group Friends of the Earth told Reuters.

But the United States slammed the law as "difficult and expensive for suppliers and confusing for consumers".

"We have made clear to the EU our concerns about the workability of these regulations and their impact on trade," a U.S. official told Reuters, without commenting directly on what impact it would have on the WTO case.

A group of GM-skeptical countries led by France said the moratorium would remain until the EU had put in place a raft of new rules on safety testing, labeling and tracing GM organisms "from farm to fork" were in place.

But Germany's Economy Minister Wolfgang Clement said on Wednesday he will push for the import of U.S. GM foodstuffs despite widespread European opposition.

Editors note: Richard Brock, The Corn and Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.