The European Union’s Standing Committee on the Food Chain last week failed to come to a consensus on a proposal to allow trace amounts of prohibited genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in certain animal feeds and cotton.

The proposed 0.1 percent threshold is intended to avoid a repeat of 2009 when U.S. shipments of soy were rejected by Europe after GMOs, unapproved by the EU, were detected in some cargoes–supply disruptions resulted.

“The lack of action by the committee (made up of experts from the 27 countries of the EU) goes beyond corn and cotton,” according to Meatingplace. “It could stymie other forms of food biotechnology. Growth hormones and nanotechnology are also examples of where a European consensus does not exist.”

A U.S. trade official told an international wire service last week that her team would continue to push for a more liberal policy on genetically modified foods.
“When Europeans come to the United States, they come and enjoy our cuisine with no concerns whatsoever,” said Deputy US Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro.”Why should we have different standards in Europe?”

The committee is expected to meet again as soon as Feb. 22.