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 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Kim Jong-un 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Black Friday UK: The shops hit by chaos and violence as shopping frenzy sweeps country
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Russell Brand: 'Katy Perry? I don’t know who that is'
Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'
£30k - 38k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: An award-winning consume...
£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...
£30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...
£35k - 45k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...