Industry calls for closer EU/US food safety rules
European grain trade association Coceral has urged the EU to harmonise its regulations on genetically modified organisms and agrochemicals with those of the US. The call comes in advance of the next round of free-trade talks in March. The association urges action to remove trade barriers, such as: the EU's slower GMO approval process and its "zero tolerance" policy on the low-level presence of GM events that are approved in the US but not yet in the EU; and differences in authorised agrochemical residue levels. Nevertheless, the European Commission is maintaining its stance that EU food safety rules will not be changed (Agrow No 658, p 11). "There will be no give and take on standards," said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht in February. The EU and the US are discussing a trade and investment partnership that will cover a wide range of sectors.