WTO in Seattle: Britain loses GM food trade dispute
Friday 03 December 1999
British officials concede that the offer made by the European Commission on Tuesday at the WTO summit, is probably unstoppable, though they were trying to redraft it yesterday. Some EU ministers argued with trade commissioner Pascal Lamy on Wednesday that the commission had exceeded its brief, but the proposal stands.
"We don't feel that a working group of the WTO would be a helpful development," said a British source. The row is "a classic case of what offends so many people" about such negotiations, he added. However, EU sources said Britain's opposition was stronger in public than in private.
The commission insists that creating a working party to study the relationship between trade, development, health, consumer and environmental issues in the area of biotechnology is not a step towards GM imports - it is a fact-finding mission. Parallel UN negotiations on biosafety will also be considered, but there will be no deal until every other trade issue was resolved.
The EU made the offer in exchange for US concessions over the use of the precautionary principle, which could allow the EU to halt imports of food and other goods where there is concern about the potential health effects, eco-labelling and other environmental issues.
Michael Meacher, the British environment minister, was still seething yesterday. The issue is "the most contentious in the world trading system today," he said. There was a fear that "trade rules would be used to chip away on any existing rules to limit GMOs," he said.
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
- 4 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
350 skinny dippers brave Northumberland seas for record attempt at mass naked swim
Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Jennifer Lawrence leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by forum users
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
£60 - £75 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Administrative Assitant Hertford...
£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reigate...
£120 - £165 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...
£120 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...