E.U. ban on GMOs remains

by Emily Wilson
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LUXEMBOURG — European Union nations have failed to agree on rules to allow genetically modified crops in the farming and food industry, but a top E.U. official said an end to the ban on such products was inevitable.

The United States has considered asking the World Trade Organization to challenge the four-year-old moratorium on approving new bioengineered organisms. But divisions among the 15 E.U. nations on biotech labeling and tracing rules have kept the ban in place.

Officials said France, Italy, Denmark, Austria, Greece and Luxembourg, all instrumental in keeping the ban in place, have not changed their positions. But E.U. Health and Consumer Affairs chief, David Byrne, insisted the views of the member states were getting closer.

E.U. agriculture ministers disagreed on whether to allow an unintentional presence of up to 1% of GM material in food before a warning label would be mandatory. The ministers also split on the threshold for accidental presence of GM seed for planting.