U.S. Exports of Genetically Modified Foods Face Obstacles. (the Business)

Article excerpt

The Bush administration's efforts to persuade reluctant European Union (EU) countries to accept U.S. exports of genetically modified (GM) foods and crops received a serious setback during the Christmas season when a report on official trials of such crops in Britain threw up alarming results.

According to the British government report, genes from GM crops used in farm-scale trials during the last six years interbred with conventional crops and also with weeds. The report is considered politically explosive, and the Labour government sought to bury it by slipping out some information from it on Christmas Eve, the one day of the year most British newspapers are closed. Government ministers also tried to hinder journalists from getting their hands on the full report, hoping to satisfy the press with a brief summary.

The full report is said by government sources to be devastating, raising the strong possibility that Britain--the one EU country that was beginning to come around on the issue of GM foods and crops--well could join other European states in deciding to ban or regulate them heavily. …